Sleep apnea is a terrible thing. The term itself is derived from greek origins and means to be without breath. Clinical sleep apnea is described as having pauses in your breathing during sleep which can last anywhere from seconds to minutes and can happen up to 30 times per hour in extreme cases.The constant disruption in breathing patterns upsets the oxygen to carbon dioxide ratio in your bloodstream due to the carbon dioxide not being expelled and the oxygen not being inhaled properly. When this imbalance becomes too large, the brain sends a signal to your body to wake up so it can restart the breathing process.As you can imagine, this is incredibly annoying, but what you might not know is that it can also be deadly. Sleep apnea causes the sufferers’ heart to pump twice as hard to try to get oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood which can quickly lead to heart failure and sudden death.
You might think this serious condition would require surgery but it can actually be successfully treated by your local dentist, in some cases all it takes is a dental appliance to correct sleep apnea.When you go to the dentist, you will have to take a few tests for them to determine the severity of your sleep apnea and how to best treat you. There are many different treatments for sleep other than surgery, but surgery is still an option for the most severe cases. In other cases, a dental device that keeps the tongue from falling back into the airway can be worn, or a sleeping mask that keeps the airways open. Of course, the best way to treat sleep apnea is to stop smoking and drug use that affects your respiratory system, as these things will make it harder for you to breathe in general, which worsens a case of sleep apnea.
The primary sleep aid device that we use at Apple Valley Dental is the Silent Nite. This device is affordable, flexible, thin and comfortable. It works by shifting the lower jaw forward to help improve breathing at night by using upper and lower trays that are connected on the sides.