Sleep is an important, restorative process. Getting enough sleep every night, and getting quality sleep every night, is essential for allowing you to function at your best every day. Everyone is susceptible to a poor night of sleep every once in a while. For millions of Americans, however, quality sleep can seem elusive. No matter what you do, you wake up feeling exhausted every single morning. If this sounds familiar, you may be living with a condition called sleep apnea, and OHIOSmiles can help with oral appliance therapy.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects the quality of your sleep. When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing while you sleep. These pauses in your breathing can last for several seconds. Unable to breathe, your brain triggers your body to wake up just enough to get your body to breathe again. You then go right back to sleep, completely unaware that anything has happened.
Normally when you sleep, your body goes through two cycles. These cycles occur multiple times as you sleep, and are essential for ensuring that your body can rest and repair itself both physically and mentally. When your breathing stops and you wake up, these cycles are interrupted. When you fall back to sleep, your body restarts the cycles from the very beginning. With sleep apnea, you can have apneic events anywhere from 5 to more than 30 times per sleeping hour. With these many disruptions in your sleep, it is no wonder that you wake up feeling exhausted!
Types Of Sleep Apnea
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive. Also called OSA, this is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when tissue blocks your airway.
- Central. Central sleep apnea occurs when there is a miscommunication between your brain and the muscles that control your breathing.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Waking up tired day after day is only one symptom of sleep apnea. There are other symptoms that may occur as well. These include:
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Trouble staying awake, even while driving.
Effects Of Untreated Sleep Apnea
The longer sleep apnea goes untreated, the more at risk your overall health becomes. Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to serious issues including:
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Heart disease.
- Low blood oxygen levels.
Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Appliance Therapy
One way that we can provide treatment for sleep apnea is with oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is typically for those suffering with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Treatment involves the use of a custom-made device that resembles a sports mouthguard in appearance. It is designed to be worn over your teeth while you sleep. With this device, your lower jaw is held in proper alignment and is prevented from sliding back while you sleep. This keeps your tongue and other oral tissues out of your airway, preventing blockages. It can provide an alternative to patients who cannot use, or do not want to use, a C-PAP machine.
Oral appliance therapy can help you to finally get the quality sleep you have been searching for. For more information, and to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you, give OHIOSmiles a call today at (740) 439-2501.