Sleep Dentistry in Beaverton & Portland
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a condition that is typified by the cessation of breathing, and it continues to affect approximately 18 to 30 million adults. It is a disorder that can impact how individuals live as achieving an uninterrupted sleep throughout the night is impossible. Those who suffer from this condition are woken up continuously as they sleep.
There are two forms of sleep apnea which are known as obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when airways are blocked. Throat muscles relax inhibiting air from flowing through successfully. Central sleep apnea occurs as the brain fails to send signals to muscles in charge of breathing. There are also situations where individuals suffer from both of these conditions, which is known as multiple or complex sleep apnea.
For those who suffer from this medical disorder, their concern is whether or not it can be cured. Unfortunately, the condition can’t be reversed. However, there are successful treatments available. These therapies minimize the symptoms of sleep apnea such as snoring and of course the limitations placed on breathing. These treatments also foster a better night’s rest.
Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most pervasive, and various conditions can contribute to its presence. For instance, weight can influence this illness. Those who are overweight or are considered to be obese are at risk of suffering from sleep apnea due to increased fatty tissue surrounding the neck and throat. These excessive fat deposits place more weight on these areas, causing the airway to be obstructed.
Another risk factor is age. Sleep apnea can surface at any age although adults are more susceptible to sleep apnea due to the weakening of muscles that takes place over time. As time progresses, these muscles become less defined and pose a higher risk of causing airflow obstruction while resting. Men, especially those over their 40’s are at a higher risk of suffering from this disorder
- Smoking & Persistent Use of Alcohol
Alcohol tends to create a sense of calm while simultaneously relaxing muscles. Doctors warn against frequent use of alcohol due to the high dependency on the sedative effects it provides. However, its ability to relax muscles such as those in the throat can be a contributing cause to sleep apnea.
Smoking is also a cause of this condition. Fluid retention, stemming from irritated and inflamed gums, can have an impact on how air flows through the mouth, throat, nose, and other elements of the upper airway.
- Genetic Predisposition & Physiological Factors
Physiological factors such as an enlarged tongue, tonsils, or a slenderer, throat can lead to sleep apnea. Deformities in the nose or other areas of the upper airway can also have an impact. Additionally, a genetic predisposition to sleep apnea, such as it being common in the family, can also be a factor.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
The most characteristic signs of sleep apnea are those that are heard or witnessed while the individual is sleeping. It is generally the person’s bed partner that can attest to these issues and notice that there is a significant issue at hand.
Indications of sleep apnea include insomnia, restlessness, persistent loud snoring at night, choking or gasping for air while resting, shortness of breath, and intermittent pauses while breathing. Other symptoms while awake include fatigue and lethargy, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, irritability, morning headaches, depression, and frequent bathroom trips at night.
Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea present similar symptoms, with both resulting in episodes of stopped or paused breathing while individuals are resting.
The difference between the two sorts of sleep apnea is how it occurs. Obstructive sleep apnea stems from involuntary or automatic causes while central sleep apnea happens due to failed communication in the body. Despite these distinguishing factors, indicators remain identical.
Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea
Sleep is critical for the repair and rejuvenation of our bodies. Without adequate sleep, mental health issues become a pervasive problem, especially for those already in poor health. Those who experience insomnia or persistent wakefulness at night are often affected by depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other disorders. Therefore, chronic lack of sleep stemming from sleep apnea can aggravate these conditions, making them more problematic.
Other health consequences of poor sleep involve more physiological issues such as cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. Heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, abnormal functions of the liver, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even death are all risks associated with sleep apnea. Receiving adequate treatment for this condition is critical to the maintenance of your health.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can find comfort in knowing there are treatments. CPAP therapy is a common treatment, which involves the use of a CPAP machine, hose, and mask that encourages stable air flow. However, some do not like this treatment due to the noise it makes during the process. These sounds can sometimes be disruptive to the sleep of those in proximity.
Another alternative is the sleep apnea mouthpiece. This device is similar to a sports mouth guard. It is placed into the mouth to open the airway and prevent obstruction. It is a small and portable mouthpiece that can be used whenever the patient wishes to sleep. The mouthpiece eliminates symptoms such as loud snoring and irregular breathing.
As for the cost of a sleep apnea appliance, this can range from $1800 – $2000. Speak to your dentist; they can provide further clarification on this apparatus.
Elite Dental Care Can Help Those with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common issue among adults. It is debilitating and can cause an array of health issues. If you exhibit some of the symptoms mentioned such as insomnia, chronic fatigue, or loud snoring at night, consider a consultation with Dr. Zavari. Elite Dental Care provides sleep apnea solutions. Talk with us. We make a simple plan. You sleep through the night again.