What is sleep apnea?
There are two main types of sleep apnea. It’s also possible to have a combination of both of them, called complex sleep apnea. The two types are:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues close in as your throat relaxes, which blocks your airway. It’s the most common form of the disorder.
Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send the proper signals telling your body to keep you breathing as you sleep.
What are the symptoms associated with sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea causes symptoms that affect your sleep and your life during the day. Both main types of sleep apnea come with similar symptoms, including:
- Loud snoring
- Long pauses in breathing during sleep
- Recurrent insomnia
- Tiredness during the day
- Morning dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- High blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction
Even though snoring is likely the first symptom that comes to mind when you think of sleep apnea, everyone who has sleep apnea doesn’t snore.
If you experience several of these symptoms to your knowledge, be sure to bring them up with your dentist at your next visit.
How do dentists treat sleep apnea?
At Fox Dental, the team can help you breathe easier at night with a custom dental appliance, that looks similar to a mouthguard, which opens your airways.
After reviewing your case, they may also recommend corrective surgery to remove or adjust the tissues in your throat that close if you have sleep apnea.
The most popular method of treating obstructive sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
You wear a mask connected to the machine at night as it sends air pressure through your throat to keep it open. If CPAP machines haven’t worked to resolve your sleep apnea symptoms, it may be time to visit your dentist to explore appliances or surgery.
If your nighttime breathing problems are affecting your rest or a loved one’s sleep, call Fox Dental or book an appointment online for sleep apnea assessment and treatment today.