A Crash Course in Dealing with Sleep Apnea

Not every treatment that your dentist can design for you has to deal with your smile. In fact, many dental health treatments and services are designed to address more profound aspects of your bite function and oral structures. For example, obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a common sleep breathing disorder that often originates with the growth and development of certain oral and facial structures. The result is a chronic, consistent obstruction of your airway while you sleep, and dealing with the condition often means designing treatment that helps prevent oral tissues from blocking it.

The loud snoring that accompanies it

One of the most obvious symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea is the loud and distinctive snoring that often accompanies it. As oral tissues collapse into your airway, your breathing becomes more forceful and can cause the tissues in your throat to vibrate loudly. This sound will grow louder the more obstructed your airway becomes, and before long, it will stop altogether as the obstruction forces you to stop breathing. It won’t take long for your body to clear the obstruction and stop breathing again. However, even that minimal interruption can completely disrupt your sleep breathing cycle.

What the snoring and silence mean

The problems that are associated with sleep apnea stem from the obstruction that causes you to snore loudly and stop breathing. As you snore, your body is forced to work harder and receive less oxygen. When you stop breathing, you stop receiving oxygen altogether. In addition, your body and brain have to wake from their rest to clear the airway, and have to start over again trying to fall into a deep sleep. The interruption will repeat itself before they can, however, and the longer you have sleep apnea, the more deep rest you’ll lose to the condition.

How to realign your sleep breathing pattern

To deal with sleep apnea, we can often custom-design a sleep appliance that helps prevent airway obstruction while you sleep. A sleep appliance can help provide comfortable support for your lower jaw, holding it slightly forward to keep your airway open and prevent tissues from obstructing it. If you’ve already been given a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, then a custom sleep appliance may be able to provide you a more comfortable and convenient way to sleep soundly every night.

Learn how to deal with sleep apnea

Having sleep apnea can mean a lot of negative consequences for your quality of life. But, with custom treatment, we can help you successfully deal with it. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.