Sleep Apnea/Oral Appliances

Woman covering ears while husband snoresA problem with your sleep affects every aspect of your life. Quality sleep is essential for helping you look, feel, and function at your best. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, however, getting quality sleep can feel impossible. Apnea is a Greek word that means without breath. When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing while you sleep. When this happens, your body wakes itself up, which affects your sleep cycles. For most people with sleep apnea, they are completely aware that this is even happening unless they are told about it. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, Summit Dental Care can help you to get the treatment you need to restore your sleep to what it should be.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It is usually simply referred to as OSA. This is a form of sleep apnea that affects your breathing because an obstruction blocks your airway. The obstruction may partially block your airway, which can cause snoring. If the obstruction completely blocks the airway, your breathing stops. Those who are overweight, have a misaligned jaw, have an enlarged tongue or tonsils, or who have a narrow airway are at a greater risk for developing OSA.

Why is Treating Sleep Apnea Important?

One of the most noticeable issues caused by sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness. You wake up feeling tired, and that exhaustion carries through your entire day. You might have trouble concentrating or fall asleep during the day. While getting good sleep is important for improving your energy and allowing you to feel rested, this is not all sleep is important for. The longer you go without treatment for sleep apnea, the greater your risk becomes for major health complications. You are put at a greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, and low blood oxygen levels. You are more likely to be susceptible to illnesses because your immune system is weakened. Those who have OSA are also more likely to suffer from depression.

What Treatments are Available for Sleep Apnea?

There are a few treatments available for sleep apnea. One of the most common is the C-PAP machine. This is a machine that delivers air into your nose through a tube and mask. The air forces its way past the obstruction blocking your airway, which helps to keep your airway open.

An alternative to C-PAP is oral appliance therapy. This treatment uses an oral device that is worn in your mouth. The device fits over your upper and lower teeth. It is designed to move your lower jaw slightly more forward than normal and holds it there. This keeps the jaw from sliding back. It also helps to move the obstruction, preventing it from blocking your airway.

If your sleep apnea is more severe, you may need oral surgery. Surgery may involve removing tissue from the back of your mouth or repositioning your jaw. The type of surgery you need is based on your specific situation.

Treating your sleep apnea is essential for improving your sleep, which helps to improve your overall health as well as your whole life. For more information on how we can help, call Summit Dental Care at (208)733-9999 today.

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