Sleep apnea is a serious disorder which affects over 18 million American adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation. More than bothersome, snoring and apnea, or cessation of breathing, impact health and compromise longevity and daily well-being. Dentists in Newburyport, Drs. St. Clair, Beliveau, and Strauss, offer solutions for better rest and health in the form of customized mouthguards, the more comfortable treatments for sleep apnea.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are 3 kinds of sleep apnea. One kind is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. It occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax, block the airway and stop the free passage of air. Individuals startle awake, gasping for air, multiple times a night.
The same symptoms occur with Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, but causes originate in the brain as it fails to signal the respiratory system to take a breath. CSA plus OSA is MIxed Sleep Apnea which has features of the other types of sleep apnea.
While sleep apnea happens in people of all ages, backgrounds and genders, dentists find some commonalities such as:
- Thick neck circumference (17 inches for me and 16 inches for women)
- Alcohol abuse
- Heredity (it seems to run in families)
- Age over 40
- Being male
- Small jaw and mouth size
- Dental overbite
- Sinus and allergy problems (polyps, deviated septum, hayfever)
Is Sleep Apnea in Newburyport Dangerous?
The team at Dental Partners of Newbury worry about sleep apnea because of its connection to health problems such as:
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mood swings
- Chronic fatigue
- Attention and memory problems
While strategies such as sleeping on one’s side help, people who snore loudly and persistently should talk with their primary care physicians. He or she may advise an at-home or in-office sleep study with a trained sleep specialist. With the proper diagnosis, interventions remedy the issue for better sleep, interpersonal relationships and health.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Severe sleep apnea problems may require surgery to modify the soft tissues of the mouth, or some people benefit from wearing a CPAP mask while sleeping. CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, forces a stream of oxygen into the throat, keeping the airway patent. Some individuals do well with CPAP while others struggle with its noise or with having to wear a facial mask all night every night.
For mild to moderate sleep apnea, the Newburyport dentists offer a custom-made acrylic mouthguard. Similar in looks to an athletic mouthguard, a “snore guard” forces the lower jaw forward, opening the airway. Worn during the night and during daytime naps, a snore guard relieves the obstruction common to sleep apnea and stops its disturbing symptoms and long-term health effects.
You can get a good night’s sleep and be healthy. Contact Dental Sleep Partners of Newburyport for a consultation on sleep apnea.