Sleep apnea is a prominent sleep-related disorder where the patient experiences short pauses in breathing while asleep. This is caused due to a partial or complete blockage of the airway by the collapsing tissues of the throat. Sometimes, patients are suddenly woken up by the complete inability to breathe, which can be quite traumatizing. Luckily, it can be treated using a medication, oral appliances, and making changes to one's lifestyle.
What are the symptoms?
- Bruxism or subconscious grinding of teeth
- Inability to explore the deeper stages of sleep
- Feeling sleepy during daytime due to sleep deprivation
- Sore throat
- Low tolerance levels
- Short pauses in breathing while sleeping
- TMJ disorder
- Persistent headache
How can sleep apnea be treated?
Sleep apnea can be treated by making subtle changes to one's lifestyle. Some of them are as follows:
- Avoiding the consumption of alcohol
- Avoiding smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Reducing weight and exercising regularly
- Eating healthy and having a light meal for dinner
Along with a change in lifestyle, we will conduct a thorough diagnosis and suggest suitable treatment. It can either be in the form of a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP)
Mandibular advancement device: It is a customized oral appliance that patients with sleep apnea can wear before going to bed. It brings the lower jaw forward, thereby making the opening of the airway wider. It also keeps the tissues of the throat from collapsing while you sleep, which prevents partial or complete blockage. It is absolutely comfortable to use and wouldn't interfere with normal breathing.
CPAP device: It is an advanced treatment for sleep apnea. We use a continuous supply of oxygen, which is provided through a pressurized oxygen cylinder, to keep the airway open at all times. The patient has to place a comfortably fitting mask over their mouth and nose, through which they can inhale while asleep. The device maintains a positive airway pressure, which keeps the tissues of the throat from collapsing.
In addition, the dentist may also suggest suitable medication depending on the severity of your condition.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (408) 830-0123 to have a consultation with our dentists, and we will be happy to help.