Snoring is a mild sleeping disorder where the throat (airway passage) experiences turbulence while inhaling air. Sleep Apnea is a much severe condition where the soft tissues in the roof of the throat collapse, blocking the airway and cutting off the supply of oxygen to the lungs during sleep. We provide comprehensive solutions to both these health conditions and can help you get uninterrupted sleep.
How is sleep apnea caused and what are its symptoms?
Sleep apnea is a progressive condition that can develop due to the following causes:
- Prolonged snoring could affect the soft tissues of the throat and weaken them. This can cause them to collapse during sleep and block the airway.
- Obesity leads to the deposit of excessive cholesterol around the throat. This causes it to press against the air passage, which leads to troubled breathing.
- Improper sleeping positions apply a lot of stress on the muscles of the throat and neck and weaken them, causing partial airway closure.
- In addition to these, factors such as high blood pressure, nasal abnormalities, etc. can also trigger sleep apnea.
The symptoms include:
- Abrupt waking up in the middle of the night.
- Lack of breath.
- Persistent headaches, especially in the morning after waking up.
- Pain in the jaws, neck and shoulders.
- Uneasiness and fatigue.
- Lack of sleep at night and feeling sleepy during the daytime.
The treatment of sleep apnea begins with the collection of data from a sleep study at a sleep center and a thorough diagnosis of the patient’s throat, mouth, and nasal passage. The dentist checks for any external factors that could be triggering the condition and rules out the possibilities. After determining the exact cause, a suitable treatment plan will be drawn out.
Dental equipment such a snore guard would be recommended by the dentist to prevent snoring and the collapse of tissues in the throat during sleep. The custom fabricated guard can be inserted and removed from the mouth easily and works by bringing the lower jaw forward and holding the upper soft tissues of the throat firmly. This allows the patient to have a sound sleep and uninterrupted supply of blood to the brain and other parts of the body.
Schedule an appointment with us or call us at (803) 306-7567 to learn more about sleep apnea and its treatment from our experienced staff.