Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to several serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and liver problems. Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. We recommend that you talk to our orthodontist, as well as your physician, if you suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. Common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Extreme drowsiness during the day
- Personality changes and irritability
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Waking up with a very dry or sore throat
- Frequent morning headaches
Sleep apnea treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, our orthodontist may recommend a simple oral appliance. The appliance works to treat obstructive sleep apnea by fitting over your teeth and keeping your airway open while you sleep. It can work by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage or by holding your jaw in a position that prevents airway blockages during sleep. For more information on sleep apnea treatment, we welcome you to call or visit our dental practice today. We are committed to helping you improve your health!