Why You Should Visit Your Dentist For Sleep Apnea

sleep-apneaSleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition where breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout the night. More than 18 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and many are not receiving treatment from the proper health professionals. There are two types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea happens when your brain sends the wrong signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tissue at the back of your throat collapses to block your airway. Some people have a combination of both types of sleep apnea. Your dentist can help in cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is one of the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA. Collapsed tissue at the back of your throat prevents air from moving freely through your airway. The tissue obstruction chokes oxygen delivery throughout your body. Each time your oxygen levels drop too low, you wake up for just a moment. The sound of your own snoring may even pull you out of a deep sleep. In addition to snoring, OSA causes a variety of annoying and sometimes dangerous problems. Because of the oxygen deprivation and the interruptions in sleep due to snoring, many people with OSA do not sleep well and are excessively tired the next day. This can lead to mistakes or dozing off at the workplace, at home or even behind the wheel of an automobile. Chronic sleep apnea also increases your risk for high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. Many people do not seek treatment for sleep apnea. Those who do seek treatment usually ask their general practitioner for advice, where they receive a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. While CPAP works, many find it difficult to sleep with the cumbersome mask. A growing number of people with OSA are turning to their dentists for solutions to sleep apnea. Most people do not realize that a dentist has the expertise and tools necessary to treat obstructive sleep apnea safely and effectively.

Natural Horizons Wellness Centers Offers Dental Care for Sleep Apnea

Your dentist at Natural Horizons Wellness Centers can help you get your sleep apnea under control. Your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental examination, note your medical history, and listen to your experiences with snoring and other sleep problems to determine if you suffer from OSA. The Natural Horizons Wellness Centers dentist may then recommend you wear a custom oral device while you sleep and fit you for the device. These plastic devices hold the tissues of your throat in place while you sleep to keep your airway open. They are somewhat like night guards or retainers worn after braces with a top and bottom piece that fit over your teeth. To function properly, these devices must fit well. Your dentist will send molds of your teeth and mouth to a device manufacturer, who will make a device custom fit to your mouth. Your dentist will modify the devices if necessary to ensure a perfect fit, and teach you how to insert and care for the device. Make an appointment with Natural Horizons Wellness Centers today to learn more about why you should visit your dentist for sleep apnea treatment.  

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