Sleep medicine is a branch of study focusing on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various sleep disorders. This medical field came about because sleep is critical to our health and well-being, and when patients struggle with their quality of sleep, it can impact their daily lives. Patients may be having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. Others may wake up feeling groggy throughout the day. Some patients may even feel fatigued all day, making them unable to focus or complete basic tasks. When chronic sleep deprivation becomes a persistent problem, it can cause significant mental and physical health issues. This is where the help of a sleep specialist can be beneficial. Visit Essence of Dentistry for the best dental care that offers value for money and is tailored to your specific requirements, including sleep issues.
Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing becomes interrupted during sleep due to a physical abnormality of their throat or their airway becoming blocked. The most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, is caused by an obstruction in the airway. The muscles in the back of the throat relax and collapse into the airway and block the flow of air that is supposed to pass through it. This causes breaks in breathing and, in turn, causes a person to wake up briefly to breathe correctly again.
There are three types of obstructive sleep apnea: central, obstructive, and complex.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing; the brain may simply not send the signal to breathe or be sending a signal to inhale when no breath is needed.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease, and it is caused by an obstruction of the airways physically blocking the flow of air into your lungs.
- Complex sleep apnea combines central and obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when both conditions are in tandem. Other forms of the disease include sleep-related hypoventilation syndrome and snoring.
The Treatments for Sleep Apnea
There are various treatment options for sleep apnea, ranging from lifestyle changes and oral appliances to surgery or CPAP machines. Treatment plans are highly individualized based on sleep study results, patient preference, and lifestyle.
Many people with mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea may be able to use an oral appliance alone. This treatment option is also popular among patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
Oral appliance therapy involves using a special mouthguard to properly align your jaw while you sleep. This may reduce or even eliminate snoring caused by obstructed breathing. At Essence of Dentistry, our dentists are trained to offer top-notch treatments for patients suffering from sleep apnea to help them regain their quality of sleep and life.
To learn more about available treatment solutions and other ways to improve your sleep and health, please contact Essence of Dentistry at 16300 Redmond Way #200, Redmond, WA, Redmond, WA 98052 or call (425) 249-7789 to schedule an appointment.