Sleep plays a vital role in your health. It allows your body the opportunity to rest and repair. However, millions of Americans find it difficult to get the quality sleep that is needed to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well being, no matter what time they go to bed. If you wake up the morning after morning feeling completely exhausted, even though you thought you got a full night’s sleep, you may be living with a condition known as sleep apnea. National Dental Sunnyside may be able to help.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
While you sleep, your body goes through several sleep cycles. These cycles are crucial to ensuring that your body gets the rest it needs to repair itself properly. Sleep apnea disrupts these sleep cycles, which leads to poor quality sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for several seconds (sometimes for as long as a minute and a half). This is known as an apneic event. Every time you experience one of these events, you wake up (even if you don’t remember doing so), which disrupts the natural sleep cycles and causes you to start over. Sleep apnea ranges in severity. With mild sleep apnea, you may experience between 5 and 14 apneic events per sleeping hour. With severe sleep apnea, you may experience more than 30 apneic events per sleeping hour. With so many awakenings, it’s no wonder you wake up in the morning so exhausted.
TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the tissues in your mouth obstruct your airway.
- Central sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs as a result of a failure of communication between your brain the muscles that control your breathing.
- Complex, or mixed, sleep apnea. This is a mixture of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
ARE THERE SYMPTOMS?
There are several symptoms that can indicate sleep apnea:
- Chronic snoring.
- You feel excessively tired during the day.
- You may doze off during normal activities (including driving).
- You have difficulty concentrating.
- You may have trouble controlling your emotions.
- You may develop health issues, such as high blood pressure.
HOW IS SLEEP APNEA DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose sleep apnea, you need to be evaluated by a trained sleep expert. You will often undergo a sleep study. At National Dental, we work with a broad network of sleep specialists. They can diagnose (or rule out) sleep apnea, and help you to manage your treatment.
HOW NATIONAL DENTAL CAN HELP
Typical treatment for sleep apnea involves the use of a C-PAP machine. A small mask is worn over your nose while you sleep. The mask is attached to a machine that delivers continuous air flow. Treatment with C-PAP is not for everyone. Mild to moderate sleep apnea may be able to be controlled with an oral appliance. At National Dental, we provide custom fit oral appliances, which are similar in appearance to mouthguards. Oral appliances are designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment, which then prevents your oral tissues from slipping back into your throat. With your airway clear, you will be able to breathe freely and get the sleep you need.>> Learn more about oral appliance therapy
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be able to help you get the sleep you need. Call National Dental’s Sleep Department today at (516) 208-4276 to learn more.