Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing a pause in breathing. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and sends a signal to wake up the sleeper, which restarts breathing. This can happen repeatedly during the night. In most cases, patients don’t realize they’re waking up so frequently. Doctors recommend CPAP devices to treat sleep apnea, but patients tend to find these uncomfortable. Instead, consider visiting a dentist near Renton, WA for effective sleep apnea solutions.
The Importance of Sleep Apnea Treatment
Heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are just a few of the medical problems that people with untreated sleep apnea are at risk of. If you aren’t receiving the proper care, you could also be at a higher risk of stroke, depression, and car crashes caused by daytime fatigue.
The Problems with CPAP Treatment
A CPAP device consists of a mask that fits over your face. This is connected to a tube, which extends to the machine placed by your bedside. The device introduces continuous air pressure to force the airway to stay open during sleep. Although CPAP treatment is effective, it’s also problematic for many patients. It can be difficult to fall asleep with a mask on your face, and many people find it difficult to breathe comfortably. CPAP devices can be noisy, and they can cause dry mouth and throat, irritated eyes, skin sores, and even stomach bloating.
The Alternative Treatment Available from Your Dentist
If the idea of using a CPAP device doesn’t appeal to you, talk to your dentist about alternative options. He or she may suggest an oral appliance, such as Moses. An oral appliance will be fitted to your mouth for your comfort. You’ll wear it each night when you go to bed. The oral appliance will gently position your tongue and lower jaw forward a little to keep your airway open. This effectively eliminates the cyclical cessation of breathing that is characteristic of sleep apnea. By wearing the device every night, you’ll get a good night’s rest and you’ll enjoy better health. Plus, your partner won’t have to suffer through any more sleepless nights due to your snoring.