Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes breathing problems at night. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. Obstructed breathing during sleep can be caused by collapsing soft tissues in the throat. When these tissues collapse, they block the airway. In addition, the reduced flow of oxygen can cause the brain to signal the body to wake up.
How common is Sleep Apnea?
One in 10 adults has sleep apnea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, between 40 and 70 percent of men with sleep apnea also have erectile dysfunction. Sleep apnea also affects children. It is estimated that 3 to 7 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have sleep apnea.
What are the symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, you may struggle with exhaustion during the day and wake up feeling unrefreshed. You may snore loudly at night or wake up gasping for air. People with sleep apnea often tend to feel sleepy during the day because the condition severely affects the quality of sleep.
How are Sleep Apnea and snoring related?
Many patients with sleep apnea also suffer from snoring. Snoring occurs when the tissue in the throat collapses and vibrates as air passes through it. This vibration can cause sound. Snoring on its own is harmless, but if you suffer from sleep apnea, it can lead to complications.
Sleep apnea sufferers often snore because their airways collapse when they sleep. This reduces the flow of air, and the individual awakes suddenly to breathe. This can happen many times throughout the night, causing an individual to wake up drowsy and tired.
How is Sleep Apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed by a review of a patient’s medical history. A doctor may also request information regarding the lifestyle of the patient, such as whether they are overweight or smoke cigarettes. Patients are typically required to undergo an overnight sleep study, which monitors breathing and oxygen levels. These tests may be performed in a sleep laboratory or at home. The test results will indicate if the patient is suffering from sleep apnea.
How is Sleep Apnea treated?
Sleep apnea is treated by wearing a dental appliance at night that keeps the airways open. Patients simply have to wear the appliance while they sleep. A CPAP is a mask that is worn over the nose during sleep. The machine regulates air through the mask and into the airways. Maintaining a continuous positive airway pressure prevents the collapse of the tissues in the throat and allows for better sleep throughout the night.
A snore guard is a small plastic device that is inserted in the mouth, usually designed by a dentist Albuquerque NM. The exact method of making one varies based on the type of snore guard, but the general process is the same. First, the dentist will take an impression of the patient’s teeth. A bite record will be taken as well, which records the position of the mouth and teeth. The dentist will use these impressions to make a model of the mouth, which is then used as a guide when fabricating the snore guard.
To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentists, Dr. Alicia Abeyta and Dr. Laura Snyder, call (505)-293-7611 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.