Nobody understands how important a good night sleep is like us here at Surprise Smiles. Our patients depend on us to be well rested and ready to give our all to their smile! When a patient comes in and mentions that they haven’t been sleeping well, we take them seriously. A common cause of restless nights is known as sleep apnea and is a lot more prevalent than you might think. We have great success in treating sleep apnea and want you to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
What is sleep apnea?
In order to understand why sleep apnea often causes a bad sleep, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. There are two different varieties of sleep apnea; Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and Central sleep apnea (CSA). There is a third variety of sleep apnea that is known as Mixed sleep apnea (MSA) that is simply a combination of OSA and CSA.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This form of sleep apnea occurs when the airway is physically restricted during sleep. The airway can become restricted or close entirely when sleeping on the back. As you sleep your muscles relax, including the muscles in your jaw and as they relax they will tend to rest in whatever direction gravity pushes them. While sleeping on your back your jaw and the oral structures attached to it will fall back toward your esophagus, narrowing your airway. This can make it very difficult to draw a breath with enough oxygen to adequately supply your body. The result is often tossing and turning accompanied by waking multiple times at night.
OSA represents what could easily be called a “mechanical” problem, in that it deals with the position of the moving parts of your body. We can treat OSA with a variety of appliances that can alter and hold the position of your jaw and teeth. OSA makes up the vast majority of sleep apnea cases.
Central Sleep Apnea
This variety of sleep apnea makes up only about 20% of all sleep apnea cases and is not something that we treat. CSA is caused due to a communication issue between the brain and the muscles that control breathing. For issues relating to CSA or MSA we will refer you to a specialist who will be better able to meet your treatment needs.
You Might Not Even Notice Waking at Night Due to Sleep Apnea
Often, patients won’t even realize that they are waking multiple times at night because they never achieve a fully awake state. Instead, their breathing will stop until they stir from sleep, they will reposition and attempt to continue sleeping. They hover in the twilight stages of sleep, where they are not conscious, but don’t ever see the benefits of deep REM sleep cycles, and so they wake tired.
Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
There are a few things that can put people at an elevated risk of sleep apnea. If you fall into any of the following categories than you are at a higher risk of sleep apnea affecting you:
|•||Genetically predisposed (parents/grandparents suffered from sleep apnea)|
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
We have a variety of sleep apnea treatment options available to our patients. From nightguards to bite-splints we have a way to keep you from tossing at turning at night that will result in a comfortable night’s rest. Many treatment options will require at least two trips to our office for us to build your treatment plan and deliver whatever night-time appliance you need.
Call us today at (602) 842-4864 to schedule an appointment.