Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by paused or shallow breathing periods during sleep. Your airways become blocked, so you stop breathing briefly throughout the night. The interruption of your breathing causes you to wake up momentarily to allow your brain to resume normal breathing. Unfortunately, this may happen several times at night, leaving you exhausted the next day. Sleep apnea can cause symptoms such as loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, daytime sleepiness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also affect the overall quality of life and increase the risk of accidents. Visit Tilden Dental Group for the best care possible.
This is the most common form of sleep apnea. It happens when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite the effort to breathe. The collapse or blockage of the airway leads to decreased oxygen levels in the blood, which triggers brief awakenings from sleep to restore normal breathing.
In this less common form, the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, there is no physical obstruction in the airway. Instead, the breathing pauses occur due to a lack of respiratory effort.
Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this type starts as obstructive sleep apnea but later transitions into a combination of both obstructive and central apneas.
CPAP therapy is a widely used treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth during sleep, connected to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air pressure. The air pressure keeps the airway open and prevents it from collapsing, allowing uninterrupted breathing.
Oral appliances are custom-made devices that are worn in the mouth during sleep. They are designed to reposition the jaw or tongue to help keep the airway open. Oral appliances are often used for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea cases or individuals who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
Certain lifestyle changes can effectively manage sleep apnea, especially in mild cases. These may include weight loss, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and sleeping on your side instead of your back.
Surgery may sometimes be recommended to correct structural abnormalities that contribute to sleep apnea. Surgical procedures can involve removing excess tissue, repositioning the jaw, or widening the airway to improve breathing during sleep. Surgery is typically considered when other treatment options have been ineffective or when specific anatomical issues are causing sleep apnea.
Visit Tilden Dental Group at 331 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611, or call (312) 664-6616 to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific condition. Remember, effective treatment addresses the immediate symptoms of sleep apnea, promotes better sleep, enhances daytime alertness, and reduces the risk of associated health complications.