You hear all the time about how important sleep is. Sleep has several essential functions. Not only does it allow you to wake to feel rested and refreshed, but it also gives your body a chance to heal itself. Sleep is important for your mental, physical and emotional well beings. However, for millions of Americans, getting the quality sleep required for you to perform at your best seems elusive. If you find yourself waking up every morning feeling exhausted, despite having gone to bed at a decent hour the night before, you may be living with a condition known as sleep apnea. National Dental Williston Park can help.
What is Sleep Apnea?
It may not seem like it, but a lot goes on while you sleep. Your body goes through different cycles. It is important for your body to go through all of these cycles to rest and repair properly. If you have sleep apnea, your sleep cycles are disrupted, which then negatively impacts the quality of your sleep.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep. Your breathing is interrupted for several seconds (sometimes up to a minute and a half). Every time you stop breathing (apneic event), you wake up. In most cases, you are often unaware of these awakenings, which can often lead to you being puzzled by your exhaustion. Sleep apnea ranges in severity from mild (5 to 14 apneic events per sleeping hour) to severe (more than 30 apneic events per sleeping hour).
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are a few different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when your tongue or other oral tissues block your airway.
- Central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not communicate properly with the muscles that control your breathing.
- Complex (mixed) sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are several symptoms that can indicate sleep apnea:
- Chronic snoring.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Drifting off while performing normal daily tasks (including driving).
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing.
- Feeling irritable.
- Difficulty controlling your emotions.
- Health effects, such as high blood pressure.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea needs to be diagnosed before you can receive treatment. To diagnose sleep apnea (or other sleep-related issues), you need to be seen by a trained sleep expert and undergo a sleep study. National Dental works with a vast network of sleep specialists who can diagnose your sleep apnea (or other sleep issues) and help you to manage your treatment.
How Can National Dental Help?
The C-PAP machine is one of the most common methods for treating sleep apnea. It involves the use of a small mask that is worn over your nose. The machine delivers continuous positive air while you sleep, helping to keep the airway open. This machine is effective for most patients, but not everyone. Other patients may not want to bother with it. We offer an alternative – oral appliance therapy. This treatment involves the use of an oral device that fits over your top teeth (similar to a sports mouthguard), created from an impression of your mouth. The device keeps your jaw in proper alignment, preventing it from sliding back. This then prevents your oral tissues from sliding back, keeping your airway open and allowing you to finally get the restful sleep you’ve been seeking. >> Learn more about Oral Appliance therapy
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and you are looking for an alternative to the C-PAP treatment, oral appliance therapy may be for you. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call National Dental’s Sleep Department today at (516) 208-4276.