The air should flow smoothly from the nose and mouth into the lungs when sleeping. However, when muscles in your throat, tongue, and soft palate relax, they can cause the airway to narrow, and this momentarily disrupts your breathing. If this interruption is repeated throughout the night is known as obstructive sleep apnea.
The breathing interruption lowers oxygen levels in the blood. This will cause the brain to force you to awaken you to reopen the airway. This happens in seconds, and you won’t remember waking up.
The symptoms of OSA include snoring, gasping or choking sounds while sleeping, morning headaches, daytime drowsiness or irritability, depression, and difficulty concentrating.
Several risk factors can predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea, including obesity, endocrine conditions, chronic lung diseases, heart or kidney failure, neuromuscular conditions, and pregnancy.
The primary purpose of getting sleep apnea treatment near you is to open the airways and prevent them from collapsing.
The dentist will recommend lifestyle adjustments like weight loss if you have mild obstructive sleep apnea. Excess fat in the body and around the neck region can cause throat muscles to narrow. It is important to engage in regular workouts to get rid of the fat. Also, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking because it can make snoring worse.
Nasal decongestant and allergy medication can also be prescribed if allergies cause narrowed airways. If these adjustments do not work, our dentist in Smithtown, NY, will opt for other treatment options.
The airway pressure uses machines that deliver air pressure through a piece that fits the nose and mouth. The commonly used positive airways pressure is the CPAP.
CPAP device blows air into the throat to keep the airway open during sleep. These devices help prevent snoring and reduce the number of awakenings you experience during the day, improving the quality of life.
The dentist can also opt for Bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP).
Bilevel positive airway pressure is mechanical ventilation that provides a constant flow of air through a mask. It is ideal for sleep apnea and other breathing problems.
The BPAP machine has two levels of pressure. The first pressure level is set at the desired level for inhalation and the second level for exhalation.
While CPAP is the most successful method of treating the OSA, it can be cumbersome and uncomfortable for some people. If you find the positive air pressure machine uncomfortable, you can use oral appliances.
Oral appliances are used for people with mild or moderate sleep apnea or who can’t use CPAP. These devices may reduce your sleepiness and improve your quality of life. They help keep your throat open by bringing the lower jaw forward, which may relieve snoring or keep the tongue in a different position.
You will need to see a dentist regularly for fitting and follow-up therapy. Several mouth devices are available that you can use to open up the airway, and that is why you need regular follow-up to ensure treatment is successful and doesn’t lead to any changes to your teeth.
Surgery is considered if all sleep apnea treatments in Smithtown, NY, have failed. The dentist can recommend a Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).
The UPPP procedure is a surgical treatment for snoring, sleep apnea, and other breathing-related problems. It involves removing the excess tissue from the back of the throat to allow for better airflow during sleep.
Jaw surgery or maxillomandibular advancement can also be done to move your jaw and teeth forward. The treatment enlarges the space behind your tongue and soft palate. This can reduce oral obstruction.
Obstructive sleep apnea can have many complications, including heart disease, depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, or stroke. OSA can also reduce productivity at work or make it difficult to do your daily chores., affecting your quality of life.
Visit Joseph B Pantaleo DDS for more information about obstructive sleep apnea and ideal treatments.