Are you Struggling with a Sleeping Disorder?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea TulsaIf you have sleep apnea, you will not know about your short breathing pauses, that can occur hundreds of times during the night. When your breathing pauses it can cause you to jolt out of your natural sleep rhythm. Due to this, you will notice that the next day you may become less energetic, mentally un-sharp, or less productive.

Some other symptoms that you will notice due to sleep apnea are:

• Daytime sleepiness
• Slow reflexes
• Poor concentration
• Prone to accidents

If you feel that you have these daily symptoms and think that you may have sleep apnea or are at risk, find out today by taking this sleep apnea quiz, if you are at risk here is an app from the “American Sleep Apnea Association” to track your sleep apnea. This app allows you to keep track of your daily activities, sleep habits and daytime alertness to better understand your conditions and take charge of your health

What are the Types of Sleep Apnea?

The most common type of sleep apnea is “obstructive sleep apnea”. This is the type that occurs when your airway is blocked, causing pauses in breathing and loud snoring. Below are the three types of sleep apnea:

1. Obstructive sleep apnea: as noted above this is the most common type of sleep apnea. occurring when the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes while you sleep and blocks your airway, in most cases, this will then cause you to snore loudly.
2. Central sleep apnea: a less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system. This condition is when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing, then causing you to stop breathing. This type seldom causes snoring.
3. Complex sleep apnea: this type is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

What are the Major Warning Signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The warning signs that you should look for if you suspect that you may be at risk or have sleep apnea include the following two categories of Major and mild warning signs.

Major warning signs:
• Loud and chronic snoring that can take place almost every night
• Choking, snorting, or gasping for air during sleep
• Pauses in your breathing during sleep
• Waking up at night feeling short of breath
• Daytime sleepiness and fatigue

Mild warning signs:
• Waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat
• Insomnia
• Restless sleep
• Going to the bathroom frequently during the night
• Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
• Uncharacteristic moodiness, irritability, or depression
• Morning headaches
• Unproductive

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Anyone can develop sleep apnea, however, there are a few items that can make you a higher risk candidate to develop sleep apnea. Some of these risks include:

• Overweight, male, with a family history of sleep apnea
• Over the age of 50, smoker, and have high blood pressure
• Someone with a neck circumference greater than 15.75 inches (40 cm)

Could my Child have Sleep apnea?

Some symptoms that you will notice with your child’s sleep patterns will include the following warning signs:

• Snore loudly on a regular basis
• Have pauses, or stop breathing during their sleep
• Snorts or gasps that may waken them and disrupt their sleep.
• Adopt strange sleeping positions
• Sweat heavily during their sleep
• Night terrors

During the day, some signs that could suggest that your child may have sleep apnea are: • Have behavioral, school and social issues:

• Difficult to wake up
• Have headaches during the day, especially in the morning when they wake up
• Be irritable, agitated, aggressive, and cranky
• Be sleepy during the day, fall asleep or daydream
• Nasally voice when speaking
• Breathe through the mouth

What are Sleep apnea treatment options?

If you feel your sleep apnea is moderate to severe, have attempted to try self-help strategies, and lifestyle changes, but find that it has not helped, a sleep doctor can help find an effective treatment. There are multiple different treatments that can help with sleep apnea, depending on the diagnostics on what causes your sleep apnea. These Treatments include:

Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP)
Other breathing devices
Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP)
Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP or BPAP)
Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV)
Dental devices
Mandibular repositioning device
Tongue retaining device
Sleep apnea implants

Dental Devices for Sleep Apnea

Most dental devices fit inside your mouth, like an athletic mouth guard. Other devices that a dentist can treat sleep apnea with are items that fit around your head and chin to adjust the position of your lower jaw.

The two devices mentioned above (Mandibular repositioning device and Tongue retaining device) are devices that open your airway. This is done by the device bringing your lower jaw or tongues forward while you sleep.

It is very important that these devices are fitted to your mouth by a dentist that specializes in sleep apnea. When undergoing dental sleep apnea treatment by a dentist, you should make sure that you schedule regular dental appointments, so your dentist can monitor any problems with the devices or re-adjust the mouthpiece.

How Does the Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Work?

The idea around oral appliances for sleep apnea is to move the jaw forward, this helps to increase the size of the upper airway. This technique we used to open the airway that then reduces the struggle to breathe while you sleep.

Dental techniques for sleep apnea are used as a substitute for CPAP or surgery. If the condition is mild to moderate oral appliances are often more effective for sleep apnea patients.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

• Compact and portable
• Not visible when the mouth is closed
• Most patients see improvement on the first night
• Less intrusive than other appliances or surgery
• No battery or energy source needed

Struggling with Sleep Apnea?

If you’re struggling with sleep apnea and need professional help, contact the dental office of Dr. Corbyn VanBrunt. The use of dental devices can help mild to moderate cases and is the best way to cure sleep apnea and snoring. To find out if an oral appliance will help with your sleep apnea, contact Smiles of Tulsa today at (918)481-4910.