Centerville area dentist offers sleep apnea solutions
Did you know that what you consider a “harmless case of snoring” might be a condition known as sleep apnea? Many adults currently live with undiagnosed sleep apnea, a condition that is characterized by brief pauses in airflow during sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when muscles relax and soft tissue blocks the airway. The most common sign of obstructive sleep apnea is frequent and loud snoring, followed by brief silent pauses and then gasping or choking as the person begins to breathe again.
Sleep apnea can have harmful implications including:
- Fluctuation in oxygen levels
- Increase in heart rate
- Elevated day time blood pressure
- Increase risk for death due to cardiovascular disease
- Inability to concentrate and focus
- Increased risk of accidents while operating vehicles or other heavy machinery
- Increase stress levels
- Lethargy and sleepiness during the day
Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Overweight or obese
- Middle-age men and women
Since a large majority of sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed, it’s important for people in high-risk groups to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of the condition. If you notice that your partner is exhibiting symptoms, please have them consult a doctor for an evaluation.
Treating sleep apnea
Treatment for sleep apnea can include a combination of things. We recommend that patients make certain behavioral changes, which may include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, losing weight, and changing sleeping positions.
Many physicians recommend the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine for sleep apnea. While CPAP machines can be very effective, they require strict compliance, which can be difficult for many patients.
At Alex Bell Dental, we can help treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea by using an oral appliance. The device helps stabilize and properly position the jaw and tongue for positive airway flow, which can eliminate apnea episodes.
If you live in the Centerville area and you are looking for an alternative treatment to CPAP machines for sleep apnea, call Alex Bell Dental today to schedule an evaluation to determine if an oral appliance will work for you.
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