Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing constantly stops and starts. Loud snoring or choking sensations are common signs of sleep apnea. People with this disorder also tend to partially awake while having trouble breathing.
What are the types of Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most common form of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles relax and block your airway during sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea: This sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Why treat sleep apnea?
- Sleep apnea can potentially lead to high blood pressure, due to constant nighttime waking’s and low blood-oxygen levels.
- Obstructive sleep apnea leads to low oxygen and high stress, which could lead to heart disease and heart attacks in middle of the night.
- Sleep apnea may contribute to type 2 diabetes, since sleep deprivation
causes insulin resistance.
- Two-thirds of patients with sleep apnea are overweight, since fatty deposits in the neck may block breathing at night. Lack of sleep also leads to lower metabolisms.
- People with sleep apnea are up to give times more likely to have traffic accidents, due to lack of sleep and awareness.
What does sleep apnea management involve?
- The dentist will first conduct tests to identify and plan a suitable treatment.
- Patients will be recommended to lessen smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Sleeping masks are an option, but have become less popular over time.
- Dental devices can be used to prevent the tongue from blocking the main air passage.
- Surgery is also an effective option.