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Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes an individual to stop breathing while he or she is sleeping. The word, “Apnea,” refers to a pause that occurs during breathing that will usually last ten or more seconds. Despite repeated efforts to breathe, the muscles located in the back of the throat prevent the airways from opening up.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Another type of sleep apnea is known as central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not operate properly failing to control ones breathing during sleep. Central sleep apnea does occur, but is not as common as obstructive sleep apnea.
In the United States, sleep apnea affects over 19 million adults. The number of children who experience obstructive sleep apnea is unknown due to the various types of monitoring techniques used, but could be up to 12 percent in children who snore habitually.
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, occurs in both sexes and all age groups, but there are factors that can increase your risk of OSA. These include a small airway at the back of the throat, large tonsils, a large tongue, or a large uvula. Other factors that could cause OSA include a recessed chin, being overweight, having a large neck or a small jaw. People who have a small jaw, smoke or drink excessively are at higher risk of OSA as well.
OSA runs in families, which leads doctors to believe there could be a genetic connection. Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and African Americans seem to have a higher risk of OSA as well.
The strongest indicator of sleep apnea is snoring and because people who have sleep apnea do not get the sleep they need could be suffering from a wide range of symptoms such as irritability, depression, lack of concentration, sexual dysfunction and memory and learning difficulties. People who suffer from sleep apnea may find themselves falling asleep while driving, at work, or on the phone. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it could lead to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, or stroke.
If you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea you will need to schedule an appointment with your Woodlands Dentist. Bring your sleep records with you along with other indicators including your fatigue levels during your waking hours. Ask your partner if you choke, snore heavily, gasp, or simply stop breathing while you sleep. Make sure and keep a list of medications, including non-prescription medications with you when you visit your Dentist in Woodlands.
Your Woodlands Dentist, Dr. Dernick, and his team of doctors use sleep studies to diagnose OSA or Central sleep apnea. Sleep studies require a stay overnight at a sleep center recommended by your Dentist in Woodlands. During the sleep study, functions are monitored during sleep that include eye movement, sleep state, heart rate, muscle activity, respiratory efforts, blood oxygen levels, and airflow. Sleep studies will diagnose sleep apnea and its severity. Depending on the sleep study, treatment could begin immediately.
One treatment for obstructive sleep apnea requires a continuous positive airway pressure device, otherwise known as a CPAP. A CPAP fits over your nose and or mouth and is a mask that blows air into the passageway in order to keep it open while sleeping.
Other treatments for OSA or Central sleep apnea, which may not be as intrusive as a CPAP, include dental appliances. Talk to your Woodlands Texas Dentist about treating you if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
When you visit with Dr. Dernick, he will ask you how you are sleeping. Your Woodlands Dentist works with physicians who specialize in sleep apnea and sleep disorders to help diagnose dental patients in Woodlands Texas who may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Once a patient of the Woodlands Dentist has been accurately diagnosed at a sleep center, Dr. Dernick will make oral appliances that will help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea allowing patients with sleep apnea the ability to get a better night’s sleep. The custom-made oral appliances from your Woodlands Dentist will help you sleep better avoiding some of the medical and emotional problems that go along with sleep apnea. The appliance made by your Dentist in Woodlands is worn at night and helps your jaw move forward allowing you to breathe easier because your airways will open up. The appliances made by Dr. Dernick have amazing results and are much more comfortable than clumsy CPAP machines.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for your mental and physical health, and If you suspect you may be suffering from obstructive or central sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with the best Dentist in Woodlands, Dr. Dernick.
“The appliance was comfortable and never bothered me and my jaw recovered quickly in the morning after chewing the gum. Judy said my snoring was reduced by 90% (to virtually nothing at all) and I never stopped breathing like she said I normally did. I didn’t yet notice any major change in my sleeping pattern, however, I have a painful shoulder that is on the mend and it still sometimes bothers me at night if I sleep on it wrong. But, I feel good! Hopefully you will still be batting a perfect record!! Thanks for helping me (us) out!!”
“I have worn the appliance the past 2 nights and I feel fantastic! The first night I wore it I actually worried my wife. She couldn’t hear snoring or heavy breathing and at one point she even leaned over to watch my stomach/chest to make sure I was still alive. She was shocked at how quiet I was. Normally I set a series of alarms that go off every 5 minutes and it usually takes about an hour of listening to that until I am awake enough to get out of bed. The first night I wore the appliance I woke up with the first alarm and was out of bed within 2 minutes. I was so well rested it was startling. I believed that the appliance would help but I had no idea it would make that much of a difference. Typically I get drowsy around 14:00-15:00 in the afternoon and have trouble staying awake at my desk. Yesterday, my first day after wearing the appliance, I didn’t get drowsy until about 20:30. I am absolutely amazed Dr Dernick. It works so well it almost seems like hocus pocus. Last night was my second night wearing it and this morning I awoke about 50 minutes before my first alarm was scheduled to go off. I was wide awake, well rested and decided that I might as well get up and read a book. This is just unreal. Thank you so much. The other interesting thing is that I normally get up once a night to use the restroom but I haven’t the past 2 nights. Thank you again Dr Dernick. My wife also sends her thanks and sincere appreciation. I’ve already referred several coworkers that have sleep apnea, we’ll see if they come in for an evaluation. Gosh I know I’m redundant but thank you again for making such a big difference in my quality of life.”