Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that deprives the body of oxygen and increases the risk of serious health issues. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, more than 22 million American suffer from this involuntary cessation of breath while sleeping. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing as many as hundreds of times per night.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Central sleep apnea – occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – which is caused by blockage of the airways.
Mixed sleep apnea – occurs when patients show symptoms of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Signs of sleep apnea may include extreme snoring, obesity, insomnia, sore throat, chronic fatigue, frequent awakening at night, recurrent headaches and dry mouth.
Sleep apnea can lead to the following serious health conditions including:
Hypertension – high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and sometimes death.
Heart Disease – coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attack.
Weight gain – an increase in fat deposits, excess fluids or muscle mass which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Health Issues – chronic headaches, daytime drowsiness, Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Untreated sleep apnea can deteriorate existing health issues, making them worse. If you are concerned you might have sleep apnea, consult your physician. The medical doctor will recommend a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, treatments are available including a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or an oral appliance.
There are hundreds of oral appliances FDA approved for the treatment of sleep apnea. If you are CPAP intolerant, visit us at Sedation and Implant Dentistry Irvine. We work closely with doctors to provide treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea through the use of customized oral appliances that help keep airways open during sleep. We will examine your teeth, jaw, and airway to determine the best oral appliance for you. Contact our Irvine dental office at (949) 727-0777.