What is Sleep Apnea?

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that causes breathing to stop and start during sleep, disrupting a person’s normal rest cycle. Signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring, pauses in breathing, or gasping or choking sounds upon waking. Some patients report headaches and dry mouth or sore throat in the morning. Over time, untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of other serious health issues, including high blood pressure and diabetes. The condition significantly increases your risk of falling asleep at the wheel or work. If you have sleep apnea symptoms, our dentist at Caspian Dental, can recommend treatment options. Sleep apnea can cause significant complications without intervention, leading to lower quality of life and even death.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect My Health?

One of the most common symptoms of untreated obstructive sleep apnea is high blood pressure. When your body is deprived of oxygen, your heart rate increases, and blood vessels constrict to help deliver more blood to the heart. This puts stress on your heart and can lead to heart-related complications. High blood pressure can also cause damage to your kidneys and brain, leading to stroke or dementia. Other common symptoms include obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, headaches, and fatigue. Treating your sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can prevent these long-term health risks and improve your overall quality of life.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Oral appliances are one of the treatment options for sleep apnea. These oral devices work by repositioning the lower jaw forward to help keep the airway open, allowing snorers to breathe normally throughout the night. Many patients find these to be more comfortable than CPAP machines. They are also less invasive and can’t be easily forgotten at home as traditional masks can. The downside to oral appliances is that they are not as effective as CPAPs. Hence, most dentists recommend that patients suffering from severe sleep apnea use CPAP machines in conjunction with their oral appliance. Over-the-counter mouthguards can be helpful for people with minor cases of snoring or mild cases of sleep apnea. For these patients, a custom-fitted device might not be necessary. They can try an over-the-counter option and see if it helps to alleviate symptoms. If they find that the symptoms are not entirely relieved, they can talk to a dentist about custom-fitting an oral appliance for them.

To learn more about the treatment for sleep apnea visit Caspian Dental at 410 Park Grove Dr., Katy, TX 77450, or call us at 832-321-4901 to discuss options for a healthier smile and improved sleep.