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What Is Sleep Apnea?
Getting enough sleep is important to stay functional and healthy throughout the day. We at Chichetti & Patel Dental Wellness talk a lot about how much oral health is important because it can affect the rest of your health. An example of how oral and overall health can be connected is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people and brings symptoms that are harmful to one’s well being and others around them. Here is what you need to know about sleep apnea and how it can be treated.
Sleep Apnea - How Bad is It?
There are two main things that sleep apnea causes: snoring and wakefulness throughout the night. How this happens comes down to the tissue and muscles in the throat. When someone falls asleep, especially on their back, their throat will close slightly - it happens to everyone in some fashion. The reason why this becomes harmful to people suffering from sleep apnea is due to the excessive amount of tissue that is in their airway.
This is ultimately how the snoring begins, but not only that - it causes the person to wake up briefly all through the night because the brain is not receiving enough oxygen due to how tight the airway has become in the throat.
Sleep apnea also tends to dry out the mouth due to the snoring. People who snore are more likely to leave their mouths open which can create a dry mouth where bacteria can grow at a quicker rate.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Luckily, sleep apnea can be treated - quite easily for most people suffering only a mild case of it in fact. A popular way to prevent the throat muscles from collapsing during sleep is with the use of a mouthpiece that will push the lower jaw and tongue forward. This effectively solves the core problem at hand.
A CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure device can also be used. This will gently pump oxygen through the nose and mouth of the user. These are generally less popular as they require electricity and they are substantially larger than a mouthpiece. But if either option can work for you, then they will both provide a good night’s rest and silence for others around you.
For people with especially excessive levels of tissue in the throat, we may recommend surgery to move the tissue that is affecting their well-being. Insurance can cover sleep apnea appliances and surgery.
We Want To Help
If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea, we want to help you improve your sleep. We at Chichetti & Patel Dental Wellness treat problems related to oral health, and sleep apnea is no different. If you would like to talk to us about receiving a custom-made mouthguard or would like to discuss other options with us, you can contact us by calling our office at 704-629-8081. We are also here for your dental health if you would like to make an appointment for dental-related matters. We hope to see you soon!