Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that, if left untreated, can cause other harmful health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, or even death. Many people are unaware they have sleep apnea, but it can be diagnosed with a sleep study. Typical signs of sleep apnea can include intense snoring, breathing pauses while sleeping of up to tem seconds or more, headaches, and feeling fatigued even after getting plenty of sleep. If you or a loved one might have sleep apnea, we can help treat you. We can create a custom-made oral sleep appliance that is usually a more comfortable alternative to the CPAP. It looks and feels similar to an orthodontic retainer, and it is designed to prevent airway obstruction, minimize snoring, and allow you to get a healthier, more peaceful night’s sleep.
Since the effects of sleep apnea occur during sleep, many people often are not aware that they even have the disorder. Sometimes it requires the help of a loved one to witness signs of sleep apnea. The condition is characterized by heavy snoring and/or pauses in breathing during sleep, which can be life-threatening. Sleep apnea can cause many other dangerous medical conditions as well, such as hypertension, depression, and heart disease.
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, Eureka Dental Arts has advanced technology to help treat your condition before it worsens and before it may affect your overall health. Contact our office to see how Dr. Matthews may be able to help you enjoy restful and peaceful sleep once again!
What is Sleep Apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, your breathing passages become obstructed by over-relaxed muscles and tissue in the mouth, throat, and tongue, causing narrowed passageways and cessations in breathing that can last anywhere from 10 to 90 seconds or longer. Some people with sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times per night, and this lack of oxygen to the brain can cause many serious health risks.
People with sleep apnea may snore loudly, grind their teeth, and gasp for air during sleep. They may often feel very tired during the day, even after having what most others would consider a restful night’s sleep.
What are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?
Some of the dangers of leaving sleep apnea untreated may include:
- Memory Loss
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Sudden Cardiac Death
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
A sleep test must be conducted to diagnose sleep apnea. Once it has been determined that you have sleep apnea, Dr. Matthews will assess if an oral appliance may work for you. You may be able to use an oral device that will look and feel much like an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. This device is designed to open up your airways, preventing or reducing snoring and breathing pauses. Opening the airways to allow oxygen to the brain can greatly minimize the health risks associated with sleep apnea. This device should also allow you to sleep more peacefully and comfortably. Oral appliances can also be a more pleasant alternative to the traditional and obtrusive CPAP machine or surgical treatment.