Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that affects not just the patient but also their partners and family members. People who suffer from this condition snore loudly, and periodically wake up with jolts and gasps for air. Because of the nature of the problem, it can also be difficult to convince the person with sleep apnea to get treatment, as most people dismiss it as just a mild form of snoring and do not think that anything else is wrong. Add to it, the fact that most people who have sleep apnea also tend to be fatigued and irritable during the day, regardless of how much sleep they get, because they are never really getting a full night’s rest. Our specialists, Joseph N. Grimaudo, DMD and Melissa Grimaudo, DMD, at All Smiles Sleep Solutions want you to remember that sometimes, our patients tend to be so tired during the day that it even results in accidents. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can be dangerous to the patient and others, and is nothing to delay getting checked out for.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be best described as periodic interruptions in sleep caused by lack of air supply to the brain. In other words, the person stops breathing, starving the body of oxygen. This results in ‘chokes’ and gasps for air and jolts with which the person may wake up. This may happen several times during the night and the individual may not even remember it at all the next morning.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of the condition including: obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes blocked. The blockage may be your tongue or excess tissue in your throat. Even if your throat is not completely blocked, the tissue can partially block your airway, leading to snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapsing of the tissue in the throat. This barricades the airflow, causing a sudden pause in breathing. It is estimated that a quarter of all men suffer from some form of obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain doesn’t send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles. An unfortunate combination of the two conditions is the rare form of sleep apnea known as complex sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
|•||Waking up with a sore or dry throat
|•||Headaches when you wake up
|•||Excessive daytime sleepiness. You may find yourself dozing off during the day or while doing important tasks like driving.
|•||Irritability or difficulty controlling emotions
Is Snoring Affecting My Relationship?
Snoring is more than just an embarrassing problem. It can also be indicative of sleep apnea. In addition to snoring, sleep apnea can interfere with your quality of life, leaving you vulnerable to significant health complications. At All Smiles Sleep Solutions, we can help to put an end to your snoring, improving your quality of sleep, with a snore guard.
What Else Can Cause Snoring?
Sleep apnea is not the only issue that can cause snoring. Other issues that may lead to snoring include:
|•||Your sleep position
|•||Allergies. Allergies can cause tissues in your sinus cavities and airway to become inflamed, which can then interfere with breathing.
|•||Tobacco or alcohol use
|•||Certain types of medications
Improving Your Sleep with a Snore Guard
A snore guard is an oral device that is worn at night to help you to stop snoring. It also helps to prevent your airway from becoming completely blocked. We create a custom snore guard based on the impressions we take of your mouth. This allows us to create a device that fits properly within your mouth. We also make your snore guard from the highest quality materials.
Your snore guard works to hold your jaw in proper alignment while you sleep. This keeps your lower jaw from sliding back, keeping the tissues near your throat out of your airway. This prevents blockages, which then helps to prevent snoring and potential cessations in your breathing. By keeping your airway clear, you can get the restful sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed and able to tackle the day ahead.
With a snore guard, we can help you stop snoring. Not only does this improve your quality of sleep, it can also help to improve your overall quality of life. We also provide other oral devices to treat sleep apnea.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is designed to treat obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. An oral device, shaped like a mouth guard, is applied to the patient’s mouth before they go to sleep. The device keeps the jaw forward, thus preventing the throat from narrowing and collapsing. This ensures that breathing happens uninterrupted and that there is a steady stream of oxygen supply to the brain. In effect, the heart and chest muscles do not have to exert to receive oxygen.
Types of Oral Appliances
Oral appliances can be essentially divided into two groups - mandibular repositioning devices and tongue retaining devices. The former works on the lower jaw, keeping it stretched forward and low. This keeps the airway open and allows for regular breathing. Mandibular repositioning devices are the most common form of oral appliances prescribed for sleep apnea. Tongue retaining devices make sure that your tongue remains in its natural position to allow the free flow of air.
Should I Get Oral Appliance Therapy?
In sleep apnea, acceptance is half the battle. If you realize that you suffer from sleep apnea, or if you have convinced your family member that they should get checked out for it, feel free to reach us at 813-723-4224. The team here at All Smiles Sleep Solutions will conduct a thorough examination and sleep apnea assessment. If during your consultation it is suspected that you may suffer from sleep apnea, we will assist you in ordering a convenient and accurate home sleep test designed to assist in the diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing. If we find that you need an oral appliance or a snore guard, we will take the measurements to get one custom-made for you. For more information, contact us today!