Sleep apnea is hardly a silent killer. One of the most prominent symptoms of the condition is snoring, caused by the vibration of soft tissue around a restricted airway. It is a deadly condition, and can cause many problems for patients, including causing poor sleep, encouraging poor eating, and causing irritability and bad moods.
Today, over 200,000 people in this country suffer from sleep apnea every year, many of them without knowing. Roughly 85% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Many of them don’t even know they snore until they are told by a partner.
Often, cases of this condition are diagnosed by dentists rather than doctors. In fact, many doctors do not have as detailed an understanding of the condition as dentists. They are also limited in their ability to treat the condition.
The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. A mask is placed over the patient’s face and a machine keeps the airway open throughout the night. These machines are notoriously uncomfortable and loud, and make it difficult to enjoy your partner’s presence. Kissing someone goodnight is hard with a plastic mask covering the mouth. Many people who try this type of treatment will stop within the first year.
Dentists like Dr. Naysan can offer a different solution. Customized oral appliances, similar to nightguards, can be created to keep the airways open and make it possible to sleep well throughout the night. These inexpensive devices keep the tongue in place and keep the jaw from clenching during sleep, or hold the jaw forward in a better position to keep you breathing throughout the night.
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing during your sleep. This can occur hundreds of times a night, without you even knowing. The consequences can be severe, and should not be ignored. If you believe you or a loved one are suffering from this sleep related breathing disorder, make an appointment at Bedford Dental Group right away!