Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes numerous interruptions in breathing frequently while sleeping. The pauses in breathing are the result of an obstruction in the airway, which causes the air passages to narrow. This chronic disease affects more than 25 million adults in the United States. However, despite 200,000 new cases of the disorder diagnosed each year, it is believed 80% of those with the condition remain undiagnosed. All too often, the disorder does undiagnosed and untreated because people fail to recognize the symptoms. As your dentist for sleep apnea in New Braunfels, we will help you spot the signs of the sleep disorder.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
When the air passages become narrowed due to the soft tissues in the upper airways collapsing, an obstruction occurs. This results in pauses in breathing, which can happen hundreds of times per night. Each interruption in breathing can potentially last longer than a minute. Due to the obstruction, lack of oxygen, and poor sleep quality, symptoms of the disorder are quite diverse.
The most commonly reported symptom is excessive snoring, which is caused from the obstruction. However, it is not uncommon to wake choking, coughing, or gasping for air after a pause in breathing. As a result, many tend to wake often at night, which causes daytime fatigue.
The lack of adequate oxygen levels cause morning time headaches to develop. Over time, the lack of oxygen places a strain on the heart, leading to cardiovascular disease. This increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure, which is one reason treatment is vital.
When the condition remains untreated, sleep deprivation can also occur. This causes mood changes, irritability, and depression. You will even become more prone to auto and workplace accidents as cognitive abilities decline.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
After undergoing a sleep study and being diagnosed with the disorder, you can receive treatment from your dentist in New Braunfels. Comal Dental offers sleep apnea therapy using oral appliances. Oral appliances are similar to mouthguards, except they reposition the jaw forward while sleeping. This keeps the airways open to prevent pauses in breathing. There are several types of oral appliances to find the perfect solution for your comfort level and personal needs.
Although oral appliances are often effective and the most preferred treatment, they may not be right for everyone. In this case, a CPAP machine will be needed. A CPAP machine delivers a stream of air through a mask that is worn over the mouth or nose to keep the air passages open.
As a dental office for sleep apnea therapy, we will help you find the most comfortable and effective treatment for your individual needs. With the right treatment, you will protect your health and quality of life while regaining a restful night’s sleep.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you need a sleep study to properly diagnose the disorder. We offer the safe and effective solutions needed to treat sleep apnea. Contact Comal Dental today to discuss your treatment options.