Wells Family Dental Group
There are an estimated 20 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea, of which 80% remain undiagnosed. Plagued by an inability to get enough sleep at night, many people would be surprised to learn that the solution for this problem can be found in their dental office. Our Raleigh, NC experts are capable of treating this disorder effectively in order to restore peace and tranquility to our patients’ lives.
To learn more about sleep apnea and discover how it can be treated, please read below. If you have any questions, feel free to give our friendly team members a call!
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that causes people to stop taking in air for short periods of time during their sleep. This can lead to a poor quality of rest and contribute to daytime sleepiness, impaired thinking and judgment, and problems with cardiovascular health.
There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type and is caused by a blockage of the airway. This may occur as tissues in the mouth or throat relax once the patient falls asleep.
- Central sleep apnea is less common and is caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to control breathing during the sleep cycle. This form of sleep apnea is more common in older adults and those who have suffered a brain injury.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. While this can be more difficult to diagnose initially, it becomes apparent quickly when the condition persists despite treatment to mitigate obstruction.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Sleep apnea can be treated or managed by a variety of different approaches. For example, orofacial appliances, airway assistance devices, and even surgery may be used for this condition.
The first step toward providing proper care to the patient is to have them evaluated at a sleep study facility, which will allow a precise diagnosis to be made. This involves an overnight examination at which doctors monitor the breathing rate, brain activity, oxygen levels, and body movements of the patient. With the help of this assessment, patients can gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for their restless sleep patterns and take a step closer to getting the proper treatment from our doctors.
The importance of seeking sleep apnea treatment is crucial, as the disorder can lead to more serious health problems if it is left unattended, such as the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Signs & Symptoms
If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, it is important to speak with your doctor about getting a sleep study performed:
- Loud snoring
- Pauses in breathing during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Tiredness after waking up
- Morning headaches
- Dry throat in the morning
- Poor concentration
Do not be alarmed if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea. Our team of doctors are here to help you get the treatment you need to get back to getting a good night’s sleep. We are confident in our ability to provide you with the most appropriate treatment plan according to your specific needs.
Please give us a call if you would like further information on sleep apnea. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.