What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical condition that occurs when airflow to the lungs is blocked due to relaxation of the muscles around the tongue and throat. Blockage in the airway results in repeated pauses in breathing and reduced levels of oxygen in the blood during sleep. The quality of your sleep can impact every facet of your health and day-to-day function. A good night’s rest contributes to your performance during the daytime.
Every time you stop breathing in your sleep, the lack of oxygen alerts your brain and your body to wake up and breathe. As a result of a constant wake-sleep cycle, your body never reaches the deep sleep stage needed to refuel your body. Waking up constantly activates the body’s fight or flight response, which can negatively affect your heart rate, blood pressure and hormone levels.
Complications of Sleep Apnea
This can add to a multitude of medical problems such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome and liver problems among others.
Do I have sleep apnea?
Physical examination by a physician can determine if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It can be diagnosed by an overnight sleep study or a home sleep test.
Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring at night
- Headaches in the morning
- Nodding off or extreme drowsiness during the day
- Snorting or choking during the night
- Chronic insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Need for frequent naps and not feeling rested
- High blood pressure that is hard to treat
Treatment for sleep apnea has been to use a CPAP device at nighttime, however many patients are not able to tolerate the CPAP device.
In these patients, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, “oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.”
This oral appliance fits like a mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. The device is custom-made by your dentist, and it works by moving the tongue or lower jaw forward and upward, increasing the size of the airway.
At Highland Village Dental Studio, Dr. Sahota works closely with your physician to treat snoring and sleep apnea. She will conduct a complete clinical evaluation of the teeth, jaw and airway and discuss your options.
Dr. Navneet Sahota has completed her residency and is certified in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or believe you suffer from sleep apnea, please see your doctor and get a sleep study done.
Contact our office to discuss your options!
Highland Village Dental Studio
262 Gibson Dr. Suite 100
Roseville, CA 95678