Obstructive sleep apnea affects as many as 18 million people in the United States alone. This problem not only creates issues with sleep quality, but can affect your overall health, as well as the sleep quality of your partner. In addition, not getting enough sleep – or enough good sleep – could put you and others in danger, particularly if you need to drive.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
This disorder is a form of snoring caused by an obstructed airway. Soft tissues in the throat can interfere with nighttime breathing to the point that you may stop breathing for several seconds. Eventually your body realizes you are not getting adequate oxygen, resulting in the aggressive gasping often observed in sleep apnea patients. This gasp causes many people to wake up just enough to interrupt the possibility of REM sleep, yet not enough for you to remember being awake. This light sleep/slight waking cycle wreaks havoc on your body, triggering several unpleasant symptoms.
When you don’t get enough truly deep (REM – rapid eye movement) sleep, you may experience drowsiness, agitation, lack of concentration, even depression and a compromised immune system. As you can see, obstructive sleep apnea tends to multiply into a number of different health issues. That’s why it is important to address the issue as soon as possible – you’ll sleep better, breathe better, and feel better in general.
You may be surprised to learn that you can consult an Amarillo dentist about sleep apnea treatment options. The most common way that a dentist addresses this sleep disorder is to fit you with a mouth guard which is to be worn during the night. The way this oral appliance works is to hold your jaw in a position which encourages your airway to remain open.
It may seem strange that such a non-invasive sleep apnea treatment could produce satisfactory results, however research has demonstrated the effectiveness of this treatment. That is good news indeed for sleep disorder sufferers, particularly if you are trying to avoid surgery for your issue.
Contact Our Amarillo Dental Office to Learn More
If you struggle with the myriad of symptoms caused by OSA, give us a call to set up a consultation. Our friendly, experienced staff will advise you of the best option for your situation. Get on the right track to quality sleep by calling us at Fong, DDS today at 806-353-8184.