Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea at Concord Advanced Dentistry
Sleep is supposed to serve as a restorative time in which the body recharges and replenishes itself, leaving you alert and refreshed when you awaken. If you find yourself feeling fatigued even after a full night’s sleep, you may suffer from a problem known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This condition can affect not only the quality of your sleep, but also your dental health and overall wellness. Fortunately, you can get help from Concord Advanced Dentistry in Concord CA.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing gets interupted multiple times during sleep. This may cause you to snore or gasp for air unconsciously throughout the night. Some people suffer from a brain dysfunction called central sleep apnea, with the brain failing to send the proper signals to the breathing muscles. More commonly, sleep apnea sufferers struggle from a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In OSA, the tissues at the back of the throat drop down and close off the airway, disrupting your ability to take in normal amounts of oxygen.
Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, age, a family history of the disorder, nasal congestion, and a congenitally narrow airway. an abnormal bite alignment or jaw position can also interfere with your breathing during sleep.
Sleep Apnea Causes More Than Just Snoring
While most people point to snoring as the most obvious sign of sleep apnea, this condition can cause many other problems, including some potentially serious ones. Sleep apnea has been associated with chronic fatigue, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and liver problems. It can also create dental problems by forcing you to breathe through your mouth, drying your teeth and exposing them to bacteria.
The Role of Dentistry in Combating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A simple change in lifestyle or general healthcare practices can help you overcome obstructive sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side, cutting out alcohol and tobacco, and losing excess weight can also prove effective. If you need additional assistance, dental care could hold your answers. Our Concord dentist can evaluate your bite alignment and other oral structures to determine what kind of treatment method or appliance might do you the most good. Options include:
- Oral appliance therapy (OAT) – Oral appliance therapy involves the use of customized night guards and similar devices that you hold in your mouth during sleep. OAT can help keep your airway open by maintaining a normal jaw position.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – CPAP makes use of a machine that feeds air into a mask that you wear on your face during sleep. The continuous air pressure helps to keep the back of your throat open so you can breathe more normally.
- Upper-airway surgery – An airway obstruction that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment can sometimes be widened surgically.
Contact our dental office today for an appointment. We can help!