Sleep apnea is a condition caused by an obstruction in your airway that makes it difficult or impossible to breathe during sleep. Estimates indicate that as many as 22 million Americans live with sleep apnea, and 80 percent of moderate to severe cases are undiagnosed.
While excessive snoring is an annoying symptom of sleep apnea, the bigger problem is the lack of sufficient oxygen that occurs because of an obstructed airway. Some patients with sleep apnea experience paused breathing that lasts ten seconds or longer that can happen hundreds of times a night.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
You may be wondering what causes sleep apnea and what, if anything, you can do to eliminate symptoms like excessive sleepiness, depression, and inability to concentrate during the day. First, you need to understand what puts you at risk:
- Excess weight and obesity
- Excessive alcohol use
- Being male
- Being over 65
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
In addition to annoying symptoms, sleep apnea also robs you of precious sleep which is needed to keep your body healthy. It also puts you at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and abnormal heart rhythm to name just a few.
For decades, the standard of care has been a CPAP machine that uses air pressure to keep your airway open, but many people are not compliant in its use because they find it bulky, noisy, or uncomfortable.
But at our Metairie, LA dental office, sleep apnea treatment is far less complicated. For many patients, relief is as simple as a customized oral device that fits over your teeth and is worn during sleep. The device positions your jaw slightly forward, which keeps your airway open and allows you to breathe freely.
Please Call Us to See if You Are a Candidate
The first step is to call Oak Family Dental to arrange a consultation. We will recommend a home sleep study test to evaluate your breathing patterns and monitor your heart rate and blood pressure. Many of our patients have found relief from sleep apnea with our simple device. Please call us today so we can help you breathe freely and get the restful sleep you need.