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By S & G Family Dentistry
October 16, 2018
Category: Sleep Apnea
Tags: sleep apnea  

Though many people snore while they sleep, this issue is often chalked up to environmental factors like allergens or a simple stuffy nose. However, in some cases, snoring could be the sign of something more complex such as sleep apnea. Dr. Nancy Addy and Dr. Jarret Grosdidier at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center in Leawood, KS can help you find out more about this condition, how it can affect you and your sleep, and educate you on its dental treatment options.

What is sleep apnea? 
By definition, an apnea is a pause in breathing. Sleep apnea is a condition which causes apneas while asleep, disrupting your sleep patterns and causing potentially serious complications. There are several types of sleep apnea, including:

  • Obtrusive Sleep Apnea: OSA occurs when the airway becomes blocked, most often by the back of the tongue.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: CSA happens when the brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles which control breathing, causing apneas.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea: Complex sleep apnea is a mix of OSA and CSA.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed? 
There is not one definitive test to diagnose sleep apnea. Doctors usually base their diagnosis on the findings of a sleep study, during which a patient spends the night in a laboratory environment. Over the course of the night, technicians monitor their apneas and how often they occur and keep tabs on their brain activity, eye movements, body movements, heart rate, and more.

Do I have sleep apnea? 
Because it occurs while you sleep, sleep apnea symptoms often go unnoticed. In fact, many patients report that their bed partner noticed their symptoms far before they did. Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • loud, excessive snoring
  • pauses in breathing while asleep
  • insomnia
  • waking up choking or gasping
  • morning headaches
  • daytime fatigue
  • waking up feeling unrested, even after what you think is a full night’s sleep

Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea in Leawood, KS
Though a dentist may not be the first type of doctor that comes to mind in regard to sleep apnea, they can help treat your OSA with oral appliance therapy. OSA often occurs due to the back of the tongue slipping down to block the airway. An oral appliance repositions the jaw to move forward, keeping the tongue away from the airway. This prevents the obstruction and, in turn, the apneas it causes. A consultation with your dentist can confirm that oral appliance therapy is your best sleep apnea treatment option.

For more information on sleep apnea or dental appliance therapy, please contact Dr. Nancy Addy and Dr. Jarret Grosdidier at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center in Leawood, KS. Call (913) 451-2929 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

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