November 2, 2018
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that over 22 million Americans suffer from. Unfortunately, though, 80% of the cases go undiagnosed, placing those affected at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Your dentist in Fremont says the first step to impacting these unsettling statistics, though, is for patients to be better educated. So read on to learn what sleep apnea is and how it can be treated.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to frequent pauses in breathing throughout the night. As a result, the brain sends distress signals that cause breaks in the sleep cycle, which can leave patients with the following symptoms:
- Memory loss
- Decreased libido
- Daytime lethargy
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Choking or gasping sounds
- Lapses or pauses in breathing
The most common form of the condition that affects patients is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which involves the tongue falling into the back of the mouth during the sleep cycle and partially blocking the throat.
What to Do if You Suspect You Have OSA
If you notice any of the above symptoms, the first step is to contact a sleep specialist to have a test done. If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, then you can reach out to your sleep dentistry expert so you can receive the treatment you need.
How to Treat OSA
The most common form of OSA therapy is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which consists of a mask, tube and base unit that forces air into the throat throughout the night. However, many patients aren’t happy with the noise the machine makes and its cumbersome design.
To remedy this problem, your local dentist offers a custom-made oral appliance for the milder cases of OSA. It helps to keep the airway open by positioning the jaw slightly forward.
Alternative Methods to Consider
Along with the professional care you receive from your dentist, here are some habits that will also help you get a restful night of sleep:
- Eating healthier foods
- Reading before bedtime
- Starting a new exercise routine
- Fasting for at least two hours before retiring for the night
By combining these routine changes with the expert treatment you receive from your dentist, you can overcome the sleep interruptions that prevent you from having the most productive days possible.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea in Fremont, then reach out today to get on the road to more restful nights!
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Dr. James Block combines nearly 30 years of experience and advanced training to help patients overcome their sleep woes with custom-made oral sleep appliances. He takes pride in helping each patient suffering from sleep apnea finally get the rest they’ve been desperately needing at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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