Sleep is an important part of your overall health. Unfortunately, sleep disorders are common among many Americans, especially sleep apnea. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reports that sleep apnea affects more than 30 million Americans.
Sleep apnea is a condition that typically occurs when there is an involuntary pause of breath during sleep. Sleep apnea affects people of all ages and genders and is normally pretty easy to treat. At Arrowhead Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy as an effective, noninvasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle.
There are three types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive and complex.
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the right signals to your muscles that control breathing during your sleep. In most cases, central sleep apnea can only be treated with a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This involves wearing a mask over your nose while you sleep. The mask supplies a continuous amount of pressurized air to hold open your upper airway.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax beyond the point of the function. These muscles support the soft palate, tonsils, tongue and side walls of the throat. When they relax, your airway narrows or closes when you breathe in, which causes you to get an inadequate amount of oxygen. Your brain senses this inadequacy and briefly rouses you from sleep. These periods can be so brief that most patients do not typically remember it. These disruptions can cause choking, gasping or snorting noises. They also impair your ability to reach the restful phases of sleep, which may lead to drowsiness during the day. Oral appliance therapy is usually the first line of defense for obstructive sleep apnea.
Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Treatment for complex sleep apnea varies.
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Many patients with sleep apnea may not realize they have the condition. Often, a sleep partner is the first to notice the symptoms. However, a doctor must officially determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea. During a consultation appointment, Dr. Jordan Argyle, Dr. Jonathan Morgan or Dr. Greg Dover will perform a comprehensive exam and ask you a series of questions to help determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Be sure to ask our team about any problems that leave you sleepy, irritable, drowsy or chronically fatigued. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you may need to undergo an overnight sleep study.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
At Arrowhead Dental, we provide OPTISLEEP custom-designed oral appliances to treat snoring or mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, call our office today at 307-789-5210 to schedule an appointment with our dentists and learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Evanston, Wyoming.