Are you one of the at least 18 million Americans with sleep apnea? Many people are diagnosed after the person they live with complains about their snoring. While snoring might be the biggest problem your sleep apnea causes for those who sleep near you, untreated sleep apnea poses more troubling dangers to your own health.
That’s why the providers at Dental Studios in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, offer customized solutions for patients with this sleep disorder. Here, we explain about the dangers of sleep apnea and how we can treat it to help protect your health.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for a period of time when you’re asleep, several times a night. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Snoring or “noisy” sleeping
- Fatigue or drowsiness during the day
- Chronic dry mouth or sore throat
- Waking up with a headache
- Difficulty concentrating
- Struggling with your weight
While all forms of sleep apnea can cause these symptoms, the disorder has three distinct types:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea — the most common form of the sleep disorder — develops when your throat muscles and tissues relax and close off your airway. This stops your breathing for short periods and causes noticeable snoring.
Central sleep apnea
When your brain doesn’t send the right breathing signals to your throat muscles, you can develop central sleep apnea. This less common type of sleep apnea also makes you stop breathing while you’re asleep.
Some people with sleep apnea have both obstructive and central sleep apnea. This is called combined type sleep apnea and is the least common form of the disorder.
Why is sleep apnea dangerous?
Sleep apnea causes irregular breathing patterns. This means your brain and body don’t get the steady supply of oxygen they need to function optimally. And because sleep apnea is a chronic disorder, this lack of oxygen repeats every night.
Over time, not getting enough oxygen can contribute to serious health complications. Some of these complications eventually become chronic health disorders that negatively affect your quality of life and even shorten your lifespan, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart attack
- Mental health disorders
Fortunately, you can reclaim your health by seeking treatment for sleep apnea. And you can do that at Dental Studios.
What treats sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is best treated using a holistic approach that addresses the different factors that contribute to your condition, including:
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Taking medication for allergies
- Changing your sleep position
- Using a device to assist your breathing
Our Dental Studios team specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of sleep apnea. To help you breathe easier while you sleep, we create a custom-made intra-oral appliance that fits your mouth comfortably.
This oral appliance offers a mask-free alternative to treating sleep apnea. It fits like a mouthguard or retainer and works by exerting pressure on your lower jaw. By pushing your jaw and tongue forward, the device prevents your airway from becoming blocked.
With an oral device from Dental Studios, you breathe better all night. It also minimizes snoring and is easier to clean, store, and take with you when you travel than a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
To learn more about sleep apnea or to be fitted for a custom-made appliance, contact Dental Studios in Summit or Westfield, New Jersey, via our online appointment tool or over the phone.