Sleep Apnea & Sleep Appliance
Are you struggling with snoring and sleeplessness?
Snoring and sleep disturbances are signs of sleep disorder and a dentist is the earliest diagnostician of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea causes repeated breathing interruptions throughout the night; the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour.
These pauses happen because
The muscles in the back of the throat are flaccid
the tongue is too large
the jaw is too small
The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding. at night while sleeping, when you tense your jaw and grind your teeth, it sends a message to your brain to wake up so you can take a breath.
A small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat are also signs of sleep apnea.
Gasping for breath causes people to wake up repeatedly, which diminishes sleep quality and causes fatigue.
Sleep apnea is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. Sleep apnea is related with snoring and increased airway resistance. As the oxygen levels decrease, the brain senses the problem, and ultimately briefly awakens the individual to resume breathing. This results in very poor quality sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. 18 million American have sleep apnea, and 90% of them are undiagnosed. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression and headaches.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
Sleepiness while drivin
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
What is Sleep Appliance?
Sleep appliance is an oral appliance that is similar to a sports mouth guard, But it is worn only while you sleep. The appliance works by pushing the jaw forward to allow the upper airway open. Maintaining clear airway prevents sleep apnea and improves health and quality of life.
Before getting the device, it is beneficial to get a sleep study by a sleep specialist. Then, Dr. Kim will use digital impressions of your mouth to custom fit the device. The impressions of the your teeth are sent to a dental lab, and the appliance is made. Once the appliance is made, Dr.Kim to make sure it fits properly in your mouth and is comfortable to wear.
Sources: American Sleep Association