Many times when people discuss sleep apnea, they start with its most obvious symptom — loud and persistent snoring. As troubling as this can be, there is another way untreated sleep apnea can affect the people around you.
Medical Daily reported on a study in which researchers compared accident rates among people with sleep apnea compared to the general population. They found that people with sleep apnea were more than twice as likely to be involved in car wrecks.
We don’t want sleep apnea to put you or the people you love at risk. If you live in or near Tulsa, OK, our dentists may have a sleep apnea treatment that can help you sleep better and feel more refreshed during the day.
To schedule a consultation at Galleria of Smiles, call 918-999-0142 or fill out our online contact form.
Sleep Apnea Leads To Sleep Deprivation
The word apnea is derived from a Greek word meaning “without breath.” People with sleep apnea frequently stop breathing when they fall asleep.
In severe cases, people can stop breathing more than 30 times per hour, and these stoppages can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds at a time. For people with obstructive sleep apnea (the most common type), this occurs because their airways become blocked.
As they fall asleep, their muscles relax. This allows soft tissues to press into their airways. When airways are narrowed, this can amplify the sound of snoring.
This snoring can continue until the airways close completely. When someone with sleep apnea stops breathing, he or she will wake up briefly to take a few breaths.
Many times, people have no memory of these multiple awakenings. Even so, they can prevent people from getting deep, healthy sleep.
This explains why frequent daytime sleepiness is another common symptom of untreated sleep apnea. And that may help explain why people with sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in car accidents.
It’s also why we want to help if you or someone you love may have sleep apnea. Call 918-999-0142 to make an appointment at our Tulsa dentist office.
Other Risks Of Sleep Apnea
While your snoring may be annoying to your spouse, there are other health risks that come with sleep apnea.
Your body is effectively fighting with itself to keep you alive when you are asleep. This can raise the levels of stress hormones in your system. That can lead to high blood pressure.
It may not surprise you then to learn that people with sleep apnea are more likely to have heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Sleep apnea is something to be taken seriously. If you suspect that you may have this sleep disorder, then you should complete a sleep test.
Galleria of Smiles can help with this. We can provide you with an ARES™ device. This way you can monitor your normal sleep patterns in your own bed. We can arrange for a sleep doctor to examine the results.
Treating Sleep Apnea
If the sleep doctor does diagnose you with sleep apnea, you won’t have to look any further than our dentist office for treatment.
Many people are prescribed a CPAP machine when they are diagnosed with sleep apnea. These machines work by pushing air into the user’s airways. This air pressure pushes the soft tissues away so he or she can continue breathing.
For many people, the CPAP machine creates new problems. The mask can be irritating. Some people have trouble falling asleep because of the sound of the machine. Other people will remove the mask in their sleep or just refuse to use it entirely.
Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have approved another way to treat sleep apnea. Oral appliances can be worn while you sleep.
These work by shifting the user’s jaw forward slightly. This movement can help to keep your airways open. That allows you to sleep deeper and snore less.
At Galleria of Smiles, you have the option of kinds of oral appliances:
> DynaFlex mouthguards can be adjusted to change with your dental health needs.
> Herbst appliances allow you to talk without taking them out.
> Narval mouthpieces are made to be light and comfortable.
> SomnoDent appliances are made to be durable and long-lasting.
Find The Right Fit For You
The staff at our Tulsa, OK, dentist office can help you get diagnosed and find the right sleep apnea treatment for you.