Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing periodically while you are asleep. It can cause a wide range of symptoms if untreated, some of them serious. There is a variety of treatments available for apnea, and in some cases, oral surgery is necessary.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you actually stop breathing, or breathe far too shallowly, for short periods while you are sleeping. This interruption to your breathing can occur hundreds of times in a single night. As a result, you do not take in enough oxygen, which can affect your overall health and lead to serious problems, including high blood pressure, headaches, and even heart failure or strokes.
There are two major types of apnea—obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. In obstructive apnea, something is actually obstructing your breathing. In most cases, the obstruction occurs when the back of the throat collapses into the airway. Central sleep apnea occurs because your nervous system doesn’t properly signal your respiratory system to breathe regularly while you are asleep.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you actually stop breathing, or breathe far too shallowly, for short periods while you are sleeping.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose, but it can be treated. The most common treatment is use of a CPAP machine. The CPAP provides continuous airflow, which helps keep the throat open so you can breathe deeply and regularly. Ensuring a steady flow of oxygen to the brain and body during the night helps eliminate the often unpleasant symptoms related to apnea.
If you have obstructive apnea, you might require a visit to an oral surgery center. Surgery removes the obstruction, making it easier for you to breathe. If the soft tissue at the back of the mouth are blocking your airflow, surgery can reduce the obstruction. Some apnea occurs because of sinus blockages or a deviated septum, both of which can be corrected with surgery.
To determine what type of apnea you might have, or to decide on the best treatment for a good night’s sleep, call 514 631 1457 to set up an appointment with our caring dental team.