On average, Americans get between six and eight hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, sleep apnea inhibits a person’s ability to get restful sleep. Even if they sleep for a total of eight or nine hours, their frequent and abrupt awakenings will prevent them from feeling refreshed the next day.
The Dangers Of Sleep Deprivation |
Feeling tired and cranky the morning after a night tossing and turning is an obvious effect of sleep apnea. But there is more to missing the recommended shut-eye nightly than snoring and getting up grumpy.
The long-term effects of months of sleep deprivation are real and have serious consequences.
- Extreme daytime drowsiness
- Inability to concentrate, complete tasks, or learn new things
- Confusion or memory lapses
- Muscle aches and fatigue
- Weight gain
- Migraines and headaches
- Hand tremors
- Accident proneness (patients with sleep apnea are three times more likely than the general population to get into a motor vehicle accident)
- Mood swings
- Weak immune system
- Poor balance and coordination
- Low sex drive
When patients suffer from apnea, their sleep is cut short and tiring. But this also causes them to receive reduced oxygen throughout the night. Sleep apnea can lead to real and lasting health issues such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
If you suspect that apnea is causing you to be drowsy, snoring, and with constant headaches, come into our office and we will help you find out. The earlier we treat apnea, the easier the treatment and the sooner you will be enjoying a full resting sleep again.
Treating Apnea |
The causes of apnea are not necessarily related to oral problems. In fact, it is mostly caused by excess weight and obesity. If you have a mild case of apnea, this can easily be treated with simple behavioral adjustments such as weight loss or a change in sleep position.
We use an oral appliance, also called Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) or Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), to correct apnea. They are custom made by us using a plastic mold of your teeth and mouth. They are effective not only against sleep apnea but they also help stop snoring.
How Do Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances Work?
Sleep apnea oral appliances increase the size of the upper airway by moving the jaw forward. This reduces the air resistance that causes sleep apnea and snoring. Usually referred to as “sleep apnea mouth guards”, these custom sleep apnea mouthpieces are effective for patients with mild or moderate sleep apnea.
We use this method together with weight loss if the patient is overweight. These appliances are used as a substitute for CPAP.
How does CPAP work? |
We also use the more effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea: CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). A CPAP machine keeps the airway open during sleep through the use of air pressure. You place it on before going to bed and enjoy immediate relief.
Contact Scottsdale Dental Care to learn more about your treatment options. We are more than happy to help.