Sleep apnea is a common condition where breathing pauses during sleep. This condition affects millions of people worldwide, which can have serious consequences for health and quality of life. Understanding the types and causes, oral symptoms and treatment of sleep apnea can help individuals assess their current conditions and consider speaking with a doctor to help live an enriched life. Many live in silence with their condition, but with access to modern technology, you can alleviate your struggles with sleep apnea.
Types and Causes
One of the most common types of sleep apnea is (OSA), which occurs when the airway is partially or completely blocked. Obesity, enlarged tonsils, smoking, alcohol or drug use and nasal congestion can all be the causes of sleep apnea. A second but less common type is central sleep apnea (CSA) and is caused by the brain’s inability to relay signals to the muscles controlling the brain. This can happen in cases of stroke, certain medications, high altitudes, and chronic respiratory diseases.
One of the most common issues associated with sleep apnea is their oral health. The individual will likely experience bruxism, which is grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep. Bruxism is the body’s effort to clear the airway, which leads to tooth damage, jaw pain, and headaches. Another issue that can arise is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ places tension and pressure on the jaw that leads to pain and discomfort in the jaw, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and clicking in the jaw. Sleep apnea can also lead to periodontal disease, which is an inflammatory condition of the gums. Studies point to periodontal disease as a common issue related to sleep apnea.
With access to modern technology, we are better able to treat sleep apnea. The use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CARP) therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. Individuals can also use an oral device called mandibular advancement device (MAD), like a mouth guard that helps keep the airway open. A lifestyle change can certainly help individuals that suffer from sleep apnea, by losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and quitting smoking. In some cases, depending on the severity, surgery is needed. Consulting a professional can be your best resource to determine the ideal treatment.
If you suffer from sleep apnea which has caused an impact on your oral health, you can contact a professional dentist at Affordable Dental Care PC. They can assist you in treatment options that can greatly improve the quality of life and help prevent or solve oral issues that may arise. With a knowledgeable staff at hand, you can be certain that your dental care relating to your sleep apnea will be treated effectively.