Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing stops and starts repeatedly while you’re asleep. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience many different symptoms, including:
The most common cause of sleep apnea is an obstruction in your throat that develops while you sleep. This occurs because the soft tissue in your throat relaxes while you’re unconscious and can reduce the amount of space for air to pass through. If the obstruction is serious enough to lower the amount of oxygen you can take in, your brain arouses you from sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, you need to get treatment to prevent serious complications. Some of the possible problems associated with untreated sleep apnea include high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, and heart problems. To prevent these issues from developing, you should seek treatment as soon as possible if you think you may have sleep apnea.
Dentists treat sleep apnea by creating a customized oral appliance designed to hold your jaw at a specific angle while you sleep. Keeping your jaw in this position prevents your airway from closing up, reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea.
To create a customized oral appliance, your dentist begins by taking an impression of your teeth and sending this impression to the lab, which builds a customized appliance. When your appliance is ready, you come back to the office to pick it up.
If a customized oral appliance isn’t the right solution for your sleep apnea, you may choose another treatment option. One of the most common alternatives is the continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. If you choose this option, you wear a mask over your face while you sleep, and the machine sends pressurized air through the mask to hold your airway open.
Although the CPAP machine may reduce symptoms of sleep apnea, it can also be an inconvenient choice. Many patients complain that the mask is uncomfortable. Having this machine also can make travel more difficult. The Tusc Family dental team is happy to discuss all of your concerns.
At Tusc Family Dental, we have partnered with three medical financial groups, each of which can help with certain payment amounts and credit situations.