One in five Americans suffer from sleep apnea, meaning they are left unrested after a full night’s sleep. At PureSmilesCT, we understand that this sleep disorder not only affects sleep, but also physical and mental health, which is why we provide sleep apnea treatment.
Visit our Branford, CT dental office to start the process of treating your sleep disorder. After a sleep study, we’ll discuss your options and get you on the path to restful sleep.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
The most common type of sleep-related breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea causes the sufferer to stop breathing for multiple seconds many times throughout the night. This happens because the throat muscles relax and cause airway blockage. When the airway is blocked, it causes your blood oxygen levels to drop, triggering your brain to wake you up enough to breathe again. Most people don’t even realize this cycle is happening because the waking phase is so short, but these repeated disruptions lead to poor sleep quality.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
The number one symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. If you notice that you or your partner frequently snore, or snoring has increased recently, consider having a sleep study performed.
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Observed periods of breathing pauses during the night
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Waking up gasping or choking
- A dry or sore throat in the morning
- Trouble focusing
- Mood changes
- High blood pressure
The Effects Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea does more than just give you a bad night’s sleep. It can affect your overall health and lead to some serious health issues. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Brain damage
Treating your sleep apnea and getting it under control lessens your likelihood of developing these problems down the road.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
If you think you have sleep apnea, you’ll first want to get a sleep study done. During this study, you wear a number of sensors that monitor your breathing, heart rate, and more while you sleep. The results of the study will show any interruptions in your sleep, including apnea episodes. Most people have around four apnea episodes per hour. More than this indicates the presence of obstructive sleep apnea, which is then divided into three categories:
- Mild sleep apnea – between five and fifteen episodes per hour
- Moderate sleep apnea – between fifteen and thirty episodes per hour
- Severe sleep apnea – more than thirty episodes per hour
Once you have your sleep study results, visit our office and work with the PureSmilesCT team to develop the treatment plan that is right for you.
Oral Appliance Therapy
We use oral appliance therapy as a treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Depending on the type of appliance, it will either keep your tongue from blocking your airway or it will gently guide your jaw into a position that keeps the airway open. We will work with your sleep specialist to decide which is best for you and get you fitted for the appliance.
Rest Assured We Can Help
Don’t lose any more sleep! Let the team at PureSmilesCT provide you with personalized sleep apnea treatment. Call today to schedule your sleep apnea appointment.