If you have sleep apnea, you briefly stop breathing 5-30 times or more every hour during sleep. These apnea episodes trigger a sequence of events that have significant health consequences. Without treatment from Juliet Bulnes-Newton, DMD, Diplomate-ABDSM, at Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry, ongoing sleep apnea can lead to complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. To get effective treatment for sleep apnea, call the office in Tampa, Florida, or book an appointment online today.
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when you stop breathing while you sleep. The condition develops when your tongue and the tissues around your throat relax and block the airway in your throat.
When the tissues partially cover the airway, they vibrate as you breathe and cause snoring. If they completely block the airway, you stop breathing. The drop in oxygen alerts your brain, which prompts you to start breathing again.
Loud snoring is the primary symptom of sleep apnea. You may also experience other symptoms, including:
Most people with sleep apnea don't know they snore, but there's a good chance others in your household have noticed.
You need to have a sleep study (polysomnogram) to diagnose sleep apnea. Most people can have a home sleep study.
You wear several monitors that measure your breathing, airflow, and oxygen levels while you sleep. The monitors connect to a device that stores the information, then the team downloads and evaluates the results.
If your symptoms suggest you have a sleep disorder other than apnea, the team may recommend going to a sleep lab. Technicians monitor your sleep and collect additional information like your brainwaves, heart activity, and eye and leg movements in the lab.
If you have mild sleep apnea and are overweight, losing weight may stop your apnea. Otherwise, your provider may recommend:
You wear a mask connected to a CPAP machine. The machine sends pressurized air into your mouth, and the force of the air holds your airway open.
These devices are like a mouth guard, but an adjustable device connects the pieces that fit over your upper and lower teeth.
The team at Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry customizes your oral appliance to fit your mouth. Then they adjust the device to comfortably hold your jaw and tongue in a forward position. As a result, it can't fall back and cover your airway.
If you have signs of sleep apnea, call Westchase Esthetic Family Dentistry or book an appointment online today.