Sleep Apnea Therapy
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involves the repetitive stopping and starting of breath. Sleep apnea is common in patients who often snore while sleeping; you snore because your tongue falls back and ends up blocking your airway. There are multiple types of sleep apnea, including:
- Obstructive sleep apnea – This is the most prevalent form of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is present while your throat muscles are completely relaxed, resulting in a smaller airway.
- Central sleep apnea – Central sleep apnea normally occurs when signals to your breathing muscles are not being sent by your brain.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome (treatment-emergent central sleep apnea) – Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when a patient has a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Why Sleep Apnea Therapy?
Sleep apnea therapy is important for patients with the condition because it can cause harmful effects and symptoms, such as:
- Daytime fatigue – Frequently waking up as a response to sleep apnea can easily disrupt a normal sleep cycle, making it difficult to achieve a full night of rest.
- Heart problems – The shortness of breath caused by sleep apnea restricts how much oxygen your blood receives. This can result in an increase in blood pressure, which can eventually lead to a greater risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Sleep Apnea Therapy in Dentistry
Sleep apnea therapy will reduce all of these risks, and will allow you to achieve the proper amount of sleep every night. There are multiple types of sleep apnea therapy offered, like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) devices, but in dentistry, we use a special type of oral device that can be worn comfortably at night. It is a removable mouth guard that is worn over the teeth; its goal is to open your throat up by moving your jaw forward.