At Affordable Dental, Dr. Marina Pinkhasova is Queens’ premiere sleep apnea treatment specialist. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition where a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep. This can cause a lack of oxygen to the body and brain, leading to a number of serious health problems.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. This can last from a few seconds to a minute, and it can happen several times an hour. There are two types of sleep apnea – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA).
OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the airway becomes blocked, preventing air from reaching the lungs. CSA occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, leading to a lack of oxygen to the body.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of sleep apnea, including:
- Obesity: Excess weight can put pressure on the airway and cause it to become obstructed.
- Age: As people age, their airway muscles become less toned, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.
- Genetics: Some people are more likely to develop sleep apnea due to their genetic makeup.
- Smoking: Smoking can irritate and inflame the airway, leading to an increased risk of sleep apnea.
- Alcohol and Drug Use: Alcohol and certain drugs can relax the airway muscles, leading to an increased risk of sleep apnea.
Impact of Sleep Apnea on Oral Health
Sleep apnea can have a significant impact on oral health. The repeated stopping and starting of breathing during sleep can cause stress on the jaw and teeth, leading to jaw pain, headaches, and tooth damage. Additionally, sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing gum disease, as the lack of oxygen can weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection.
Individuals suffering from sleep apnea often breathe through their mouths while they sleep, leading to dry mouth. This can cause a range of oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. In mild cases, lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking can help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, treatment may involve using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, a device that delivers air pressure through a mask to keep the airway open during sleep.
In many cases, a dental professional, like Dr. Pinkhasova, will recommend the use of an oral appliance, such as a mandibular advancement device (MAD), to help keep the airway open. MADs work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to prevent them from blocking the airway. Depending on your specific issues, Dr. Pinkhasova may recommend a wide range of treatment options that might work for you.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause a lack of oxygen to the body and brain, leading to a range of serious health problems. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to speak to a sleep apnea dentist. For more information on sleep apnea treatment options and diagnostic measures, be sure to contact Affordable Dental today.