Find Out If There Is More To That Snore

sleep apnea and snoringMost of us grew up hearing someone in our family snore and we have probably even made fun of them and how loud they snored.  Let’s face it, many people who snore can make some pretty strange sounds.  However, one thing we didn’t know back then was that snoring was actually a sign of a much greater problem and one that can even be life threatening … Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition in which the person who has it stops breathing for extended periods of time through the night. These periods of not breathing can range from 5 to 15 times per hour to 120 times per hour in more severe cases.  This creates a lack of oxygen for your body and keeps it from getting the restorative nights sleep it needs to heal and reboot itself.  This then leads to further health issues that can even be life threatening.  Leaving it untreated can cause more than just snoring.

The Purpose of Getting Really Good Sleep

Does any of this sound like you:

  • I go to bed early but I get up tired as if I didn’t sleep at all
  • I wake up gagging and coughing in the night
  • I go to work only to be tired and restless all day
  • I can’t seem to concentrate and I am having mood swings
  • My blood pressure want stabilize even with medication
  • I have diabetes and cannot control my sugar and I put on weight

These are just a few of the signs that you may have obstructive sleep apnea and if left untreated can lead to serious health complications.  The reason is because sleep has real purpose in our lives and without good rest, we lose quality of life.

Your body is designed to heal itself through sleep.  Good sleep helps to bring your body back into alignment in order for it to function at its best from day to day.  During sleep, our bodies are supposed to get extra oxygen which helps in rebooting our system, repairing our cells, muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release which occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep. Other rejuvenating aspects of sleep are specific to the brain and cognitive function.  You should be getting it by now that sleep is important to you and your health.

What Do You Need To Do If You Think You Have Sleep Apnea

If any of things we described above apply to you, then you need to take the next step and get a full and complete diagnosis.  This involves having what is called a “sleep study” done.  There are basically two types.  One is you go into a sleep study center and they hook you up to some diagnostic equipment that you wear and they monitor you all night long.  The other is an in home sleep study in which you are hooked up to a small device that monitors your sleep while at home.  Many prefer this as they can sleep much easier in their own homes.  The device is then sent back and a certified sleep doctor reads the information on the machine and develops a report.

If it is determined you have sleep apnea, then you will need to get treatment.  The gold standard for treatment for many years has been the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).  This is a machine with a mask and hose that you wear over your nose or nose and mouth at night.  For most, this machine is a lifesaver but for some, not so much.

oral appliance for sleep apneaMany people who are prescribed the CPAP just cannot wear for one reason or another and it ends up under their bed or in the closet.  This is where another treatment for sleep apnea can help and we offer it in our office.  It is called Oral Appliance Therapy.

Oral Appliance Therapy is a custom made device that fits comfortably in the mouth.  It works by advancing your lower jaw forward opening the airway in your throat allowing your to breathe.  The CPAP forces air down your throat to accomplish this.  The Oral Appliance is simple and effective and treats most forms of obstructive sleep apnea.

Don’t Go Untreated

To let your sleep apnea go untreated can have serious health implications.  Some of these if left to go to far, cannot be reversed.  So get treatment.

If you think you may have sleep apnea and your don’t know what to do next, then give us a call and we will be glad to assist you in taking that next step.  We don’t just treat teeth, we treat the whole person.

 

 

 

 

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