More than 18 million Americans experience the same thing every night, and it is not dreaming. It is obstructive sleep apnea, and it may be causing you or your loved one to have some restless nights.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted when he or she is sleeping. Chronic snoring is a common sign that this is happening. Those who experience this disorder may have an abnormally enlarged mouth or throat tissues, or tissues that become too relaxed while they sleep, causing the airflow to be cut off. After several moments of not breathing, the brain and body force the person to wake up. This can happen hundreds of times a night, leading to an exhausted feeling during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea has been linked to such issues as diabetes, heart disease, memory loss, or low oxygen levels.
What Causes It and What Are Its Signs?
There may be several reasons that a person experiences sleep apnea. Life factors that could increase the risk include being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, having a small jaw, ethnicity, having a large neck, and genetics. It can happen to all ages and genders. Signs and symptoms include tiredness during the day, dry mouth, headaches upon waking, and a lack of focus for a consistent length of time. You can also ask a loved one to let you know if you repeatedly stop breathing or gasp throughout the night.
How is it Treated?
We recommend a custom-designed oral appliance to help treat sleep apnea. The appliance helps hold the jaw forward and prevent tissues from collapsing and blocking the airway. Mandibular repositioning and tongue retaining are the two types of oral appliances often used. The mandibular appliance holds the jaw by covering the top and bottom teeth. The tongue retaining appliance holds the tongue forward so that it does not block the airway.
Schedule an Appointment with Us Today
If you are experiencing chronic snoring because of sleep apnea, Cleveland Family Dentistry can help with a custom-designed oral appliance. To schedule an appointment, call our office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also proudly serve the residents of Kingwood, New Caney, Conroe, and all surrounding communities.