Airway issues caused by obstructive sleep apnea
- Posted on: Dec 15 2019
Upon wakening each morning, are you still extremely tired? Do you feel like you didn’t sleep at all? Are you concerned about the headache and dry mouth you experience every day? When patients are dealing with daytime fatigue that never seems to improve with sleep, they may be struggling with a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Understanding sleeping orders such as OSA
Obstructive sleep apnea can be problematic to patients. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed for extended periods of time because many patients are not aware it is occurring. Oftentimes, a diagnosis is made when a sleeping partner reports snoring, gasping, and stopped breath during the night. This leads patients to get a sleep study completed, during which they discover they have obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is a condition that is caused by a blocked airway. Patients stop breathing, gasp awake, and then fall back asleep. The problem is that this cycle happens hundreds of times in one night, causing patients to never reach the deep sleep they need to function properly the following day. This sleep deficit occurs night after night, and patients experience problems such as chronic fatigue, poor memory and concentration, and an increased risk for accidents on the road or at the workplace. When patients get a diagnosis, they can then work with their dentist to eliminate these airway issues.
The blockage of the airway
The airway can be blocked in many different ways with obstructive sleep apnea. The tongue may fall to the back of the throat and block the airways, or soft tissues of the neck may constrict the airway opening. Some patients have problems with their jaw alignment or coexisting conditions such as TMJ or TMD that may also impact the airway. All of these can create the “perfect storm” and cause obstructive sleep apnea.
Treatment of OSA
The primary treatment for OSA through the dental office is a custom mouthpiece or oral appliance that helps maintain open airways through the night. These oral appliances are comfortable, affordable, and effective, and can be a welcome alternative to alternatives such as CPAP machine usage recommended by most physicians.
Request a visit with Dr. Robert D. Bankhardt
If you reside in Simi Valley, California and believe you may be dealing with obstructive sleep apnea, we encourage you to schedule a consultation appointment with our team to get a proper evaluation and diagnosis. The practice is located at 2720 Cochran Street, Suite #2B and can be reached at (805) 584-1194.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea