Dental Alternatives for Sleep Apnea in Clearwater, Florida
Snoring is almost universal. Practically everybody snores at one time or another. Some people snore so loudly that they disturb their bed partners.
And some people have really loud snoring that may signal a potentially serious health condition – obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
What is OSA?
Normally, the muscles in your throat maintain their tone and hold the airway open while you’re sleeping. In obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of your throat relax too much and block your airway. When you can’t breathe, the oxygen level in your blood drops. That drop in blood oxygen level rouses the brain just enough to make you wake and begin breathing again. OSA can also be accompanied by gasping, choking, and involuntary movements.
A person with OSA may not remember waking up, but it can happen dozens or even hundreds of time a night. The odds are that their bed partner remembers it, though. It’s fairly common for OSA to lead to couples sleeping in separate rooms.
When sleep is interrupted so often it’s not refreshing. The OSA sufferer frequently experiences daytime drowsiness, concentration problems, low energy, and/or headaches. People with OSA are at high risk for accidents.
Even worse, obstructive sleep apnea is linked to a host of potentially serious health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Acid reflux
- Weight gain
- And possibly adult asthma
It’s estimated that in the U.S., some 3-7% of adult men and 2-5% of adult women have obstructive sleep apnea. Those may sound like low percentages. The truth is, though, that over 18 million adults in this country suffer from OSA, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Several things can contribute to the development of sleep apnea. Being overweight is a major risk factor. The circumference of your neck, your sleeping position, and using alcohol and/or tobacco can all make developing sleep apnea more likely.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Probably the best-known treatment for OSA is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAPs work well for many people. Others are bothered by the sound of the machine while they’re trying to fall asleep and by the need to wear a mask.
CPAPs aren’t the only treatment option, though. Clearwater Dental Associates proudly offers our patients oral appliances to treat sleep apnea.
A sleep apnea oral appliance is adjusts the position of your lower jaw to hold your airway open while you sleep. The appliances we offer are comfortable to wear and effective at getting back to refreshing, restorative sleep!
Oral appliances are much more convenient for people who travel regularly. An oral appliance can be carried in your pocket or your purse. A CPAP machine is bulkier, heavier, and typically travels in your luggage – which can be lost.
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is more than an annoyance. It’s a potentially dangerous condition that requires treatment. Learn more about how an oral sleep apnea appliance can restore quiet to your home and energy to your life, Call our office at 727-373-6628 or contact us through our convenient online form.
Here’s to a great night’s sleep for you and yours!