Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes people to stop and start breathing several times while asleep. There are several risk factors that can predispose people to developing sleep apnea such as obesity and age. This condition is more common in men. The most common symptoms of this condition include snoring very loud and feeling very tired after a full and long night of sleep.


What Happens When You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the soft palate at the back of your throat closes or collapses while you sleep. That prevents the air you inhale from traveling to your lungs, and it reduces the amount of oxygen you take in. This is the most common form of sleep apnea.

There is also a less common version of sleep apnea where your brain basically forgets to tell your muscles what to do. As a result, you stop breathing while sleeping. The majority of sleep apnea treatment options focus on obstructive sleep apnea.


What Are the Main Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?

There are several different sleep apnea treatment options. For instance, your dentist can create a custom oral appliance for you. This fits into your mouth like a retainer or a sports mouth guard. As you sleep, it repositions your jaw in a way that helps to stop your soft palate from collapsing.

If that doesn't work, you may want to try a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. This machine consists of an air mask that you wear over your face or just over your nose. The mask connects to a small machine via a tube. The machine gently blows air continuously into your airways so that you never stop breathing.

Finally, in severe cases where other sleep apnea treatment options don't work, surgery may be an option. The surgery removes excess tissue to make your air passages wider.


What Are the Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment?

In many cases, people with sleep apnea snore excessively. Those noises alone can keep these individuals up at night. By treating your sleep apnea, you eliminate most of the snoring so everyone gets a better night's sleep.

Even if the snoring doesn't bother you or your partner, the majority of people with obstructive sleep apnea do not sleep well. Because they wake up frequently during the night, their bodies don't get the chance to go into deep REM sleep, and without that restorative sleep, you tend to feel groggy and tired throughout the day.

Most importantly, when you opt to get sleep apnea treatment, you avoid some of the serious issues that are linked to sleep apnea. In particular, you can avoid the risk of death due to sudden cardiac arrest. When you stop breathing, the oxygen levels in your blood go down. That causes your heart rate to flutter, and that can lead to cardiac arrest.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, contact Buckhead Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to talk about treatment options. We can help you set up a sleep study, evaluate your options, and figure out which treatment option is the best for you.