Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Oral Appliance Therapy

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Oral Appliance Therapy

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, is a condition that some may not even be aware of. People who sleep alone aren’t usually aware of the breathing cessation episodes that can occur up to 30 times every hour.

obstructive sleep apnea

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

According to accredited Fellow and former president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, OSA causes the airways to close when your throat relaxes. This means your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen because airflow is restricted. When this occurs, your brain wakes you up so you can start breathing again. Unfortunately, most whom don’t share a bed feel as if they have had a wonderful night’s sleep. However, if OSA remains untreated, the episodes may get worse.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

  • Breathing cessation while sleeping, this would be observed by another person
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Morning headaches
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Hypersomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Attention problems
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Although anyone can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, some have a higher risk. Factors that could put you in the high-risk category include:

  • Excessive Weight-Being obese increases the risk of OSA as fat deposits around your upper airways obstruct breathing.
  • Neck Circumference-People who have thick necks may have smaller airways.
  • Narrow Airway-If you have tonsils or adenoids they can block your airways, this is very common in children. You may have also been born with a narrow throat.
  • Male-If you are a man, you are three times as likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, however, women also run the risk if they are post menopausal or overweight.
  • Age-According to studies, sleep apnea occurs more often in people who are older.
  • Family History-If your dad did or does have OSA you may have an increased risk of the disorder.
  • Alcohol and Sedative Use-Because any type of alcohol, tranquilizer or sedative relaxes the throat muscles it could make sleep apnea worse.
  • Smoking-People who smoke have an increased risk of OSA. Smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airways making it difficult to breathe, especially when you are asleep.
  • Nasal Congestion-People who have a tough time breathing through their nose, whether it is due to allergies or anatomical problems, are also in the high-risk category for obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Solutions

For milder OSA cases, your doctor may advise lifestyle changes. If you quit smoking or lose some weight, obstructive sleep apnea may not be an issue anymore. If nasal allergies are a problem, ask your doctor about available treatments.

Unfortunately, life style changes do not always, “cure,” sleep apnea. If you have lost weight, stopped smoking and do not have allergies, but still have OSA symptoms, other treatments may be necessary. If you follow Dr. Jack Ringers Blog, you will know that if left untreated, OSA has serious risks, including death.

CPAP Machine for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure, known as a CPAP machine is useful for people who have moderate to severe OSA. Because the air pressure in the CPAP is greater than the air surrounding it, it keeps your airways open.

The most common form of sleep apnea treatment is also the most uncomfortable. Some people find it so cumbersome they just give up. Practice may make perfect, but that is rarely the case with a CPAP machine.

Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jack Ringer if you suffer from OSA. Your Orange County Dentist is a licensed and preferred oral appliance therapy provider who can design a custom-made oral appliance to help relieve your OSA. Oral appliance therapy is used to open the airways making it possible for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If all treatments have failed and you still suffer from OSA, surgery may be the only option. Usually patients require a three-month trial of other obstructive sleep apnea treatments before surgery is considered.

If you would like more information regarding oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, call or click and schedule an appointment with Dental Cosmetics Anaheim Hills. You will sleep better and live a more productive life.

Your OC dentist is ready to help you become more comfortable during the day and the night. Call for a no obligation oral appliance therapy consultation with Dr. Jack Ringer today.

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