Sleep apnea is an incredibly common disorder that affects a patient’s breathing at night. It may be caused by excess weight, smoking, and other issues, but it is incredibly disruptive to your everyday life. Not only is sleep apnea problematic to how you feel throughout the day, but it can lead to more serious health conditions like type two diabetes and heart disease. By treating your sleep apnea, you’re taking a proactive approach to your overall health and well-being.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea refers to a condition where a patient experience short cessations in their breathing throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by the airway closing for short periods of time during sleep. When this occurs, your body’s natural response is to bolt awake before you can settle back in for restful sleep. Unfortunately, most patients who have sleep apnea rarely enter REM sleep, which is the most restful and restorative stage of sleep. Because you’re not getting a full night of sleep, you’ll find that you’re exhausted during the day, regardless of being in bed for eight or more hours. Likewise, you’ll be irritated and lethargic, and may find that you begin gaining weight as a result.
Your Dental Options for Sleep Apnea
In the past, one of the only options for treating sleep apnea was with a CPAP machine. While these machines are still great for some patients, especially those with advanced and severe sleep apnea, a simpler and more comfortable dental appliance can be worn that effectively keeps your airway open during the night. The device looks like a mouth guard you’d wear to prevent grinding, and it’s custom made to fit your mouth. The appliance helps to bring the lower jaw forward, allowing air to easily flow through your airway and into your lungs. This prevents the effects of sleep apnea, and allows you to get a restful night of sleep.
Seeking Treatment for Your Sleep Disorder
Seeking treatment for your sleep apnea is incredibly beneficial. Not only will you find that this has a positive impact on your health, but it will do wonders for your mood and energy levels. Because you’re able to enter REM sleep and get more restorative rest, you’ll have the energy you need throughout the day to spend with friends and family. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or believe that you might have this disorder, you may want to consider a dental device to help alleviate symptoms.