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Sleep Apnea

Man with sleep apnea snoring while trying to sleep in bedThe American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that close to 25 million adults suffer from sleep apnea. The statistics are shocking as the health risks. People diagnosed with the disorder now have various treatment options than in the past and they can successfully overcome this problem. Receiving effective and proper treatment can help alleviate the risk that comes with sleep apnea. If you think that you are dealing with sleep apnea, our dental team at 253 Dental Care is trained in dental sleep medicine and can provide treatment and solutions to the disorder.

Symptoms and Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

You may be surprised that when you come to our dental office, our dentist will ask you if you have sleep problems and whether you snore. A dentist is one of the first to identify obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders in a patient. A person with obstructive sleep apnea experiences repeated breathing interruptions during the night. An individual may have pauses lasting from a few seconds to several minutes, and they can occur 30 or more times in an hour. The reason the pauses occur is because the muscles found at the back of the throat could be flaccid, the tongue is large, or the person has a small jaw. These situations cause airway obstructions.

When you have sleep apnea, the first sign is often tooth grinding (bruxism). When you visit our office, our dentist will look for things like worn tooth surfaces, as in most cases it indicates that you grind your teeth. The tooth wear and breakage arising from grinding may cause other problems such as an increase in cavities and receding and inflamed gums. Sleep apnea is associated with a high risk of developing heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea presents in three different types: obstructive, central, and mixed. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and it occurs when there is partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. An apnea episode involves the chest and diaphragm muscles working harder due to the increasing pressure to open the airway. A person resumes breathing with a body jerk or a loud gasp. Apnea episodes may disrupt your sleep and reduce oxygen flow to vital organs. It can even cause heart rhythm problems.

When it comes to central sleep apnea, there is no blockage of the airways, however, the brain does not signal or communicate with the muscles to breathe. Often, this is caused by problems with the respiratory control center. This type of sleep apnea is linked to the central nervous system. Oral appliance therapy cannot treat central sleep apnea. Mixed sleep apnea involves a combination of both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

How Our Dental Office Can Help

If our dentist finds out that you have obstructive sleep apnea, they will provide you with the right treatment plan. A CPAP machine is often the recommended treatment of the disorder, however, it may not work for some people. Another option is the use of dental or oral appliance therapy resembling a mouth guard that athletes use. We examine the best possible treatment to offer for your situation. We may recommend oral mandibular advancement devices that help prevent the blockage of the throat by the tongue.

Our dentist will make an impression of your teeth and we use it to construct the device. We will then call you back to have the device fitted. We will provide you with instructions on the way the oral appliance is used and how to clean it. For more information about sleep apnea and our treatment options visit us at 253 Dental Care or call (253) 765-0184 for an appointment.
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253 Dental Care, 32114 1st Ave S, STE 200, Federal Way, WA 98003 | (253) 765-0184 | | 5/25/2024 | Related Phrases: dentist Federal Way WA |