Sleep is vitally important to our physical and mental health. Without restful sleep, our bodies cannot function at their fullest potential, and we feel exhausted, irritable, and depressed. One reason why people often cannot get the proper sleep they need is because of sleep breathing disorders like sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by disrupted or irregular breathing patterns during sleep. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, an estimated 22 million Americans live with sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.
Sleep apnea can affect nearly every aspect of someone’s life, from their ability to breathe, sleep restfully, and think clearly. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, Antelope Creek Family Dentistry can help you find a viable solution.
We provide various options for assisting in treating sleep apnea, including mouth guards and take-home sleep tests. Another alternative treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP).
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway is blocked, causing temporary lapses in breathing.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs due to an issue with the brain’s ability to control respiratory muscle, which leads to slower, shallow breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA.
The dentists at Antelope Creek Family Dentistry can guide you toward the best treatment option for your specific experience with sleep apnea. We have experience helping patients with all types of sleep apnea, and we are confident we can help you too!
Sleep Apnea Can Affect Anyone
Sleep apnea does not discriminate when it comes to who it can affect; it can even affect children. However, the risk of sleep apnea can increase due to the following habits, traits, or conditions:
- Anatomical characteristics (i.e., enlarged tonsils)
- Nasal congestion
- Cigarette smoking
- Family history
- Use of sedatives like alcohol or medication
- Hormone abnormalities
Sleep apnea can occur for several different reasons, and these reasons are not always known until you see a dentist or a specialist. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, there is no better time than now to seek the high-quality and compassionate treatment you deserve.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep is vitally important to one’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. People with sleep apnea can suffer from various symptoms that affect the way they live their lives. Sleep apnea has many symptoms, such as:
- Disrupted breathing
- Chronic snoring
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Excessive lethargy
- Brain fog
- Difficulty focusing
- Sore throat after waking
- Dry mouth after waking
- Frequent need to urinate at night (nocturia)
If you have any of these symptoms, or you are told by a loved one that you have one of these symptoms (i.e., snoring, gasping during sleep), you could have sleep apnea. People often do not even realize they have sleep apnea because they are unaware that they have some of these symptoms unless they receive a sleep test or are monitored during sleep by a loved one.
Health Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea
Because sleep apnea affects oxygen levels in the body, it can lead to serious issues if not treated. Untreated sleep apnea can even lead to cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, or heart attacks. At Antelope Creek Family Dentistry, we can help you alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms and reduce your risk for developing harmful health conditions.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Lincoln, NE
Antelope Creek Family Dentistry offers a few different methods for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea in Lincoln, NE.
#1 Oral Appliance Therapy
Our dentists treat sleep apnea using customized, FDA-approved oral appliances designed with maximum comfort and durability. Studies have shown that oral appliance therapy shows a compliance of 90% after 2.5 years of use. Our oral appliances alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and bruxism by repositioning the jaws, which opens the airway and supports the tongue. Oral appliances also help reduce snoring and protects the teeth from grinding and clenching that may occur during sleep.
#2 Take-Home Sleep Tests
We provide patients with convenient, take-home sleep tests to monitor breathing patterns during sleep. Our take-home sleep tests are simple to use and comfortable, and the best part? You no longer have to go to a sleep study lab to get results!
#3 Collaborations with Local Specialists
The dentists at our practice work closely with trusted, local specialists to help patients receive an accurate diagnosis for any sleep breathing disorders.
An alternative treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP, which is a device that administers a continuous flow of pressurized air through a flexible tube. It's non-invasive, delivers a stream of filtered air, and opens the airway so the lungs receive enough oxygen. For more information about CPAP, please speak with your specialist or one of our dentists.
Are You Ready for Restful Sleep?
If you are constantly tired or unable to properly breathe while sleeping, please call us today to schedule an appointment. Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, but sleep apnea can be treated or relieved so you can finally enjoy the benefits of restful sleep.