Experts estimate that there may be millions of sleep apnea sufferers in the United States. The big problem is most of them may not even know they have this tricky condition. Unfortunately, not knowing doesn’t make it any less serious!
Sleep apnea, sometimes known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a medical condition that is caused when excessive soft tissue blocks the airway during sleep. The blockage might occur within the throat or in several locations throughout the mouth, such as the tongue, uvula or tonsils.
This leads to breathing pauses throughout the night, which can cause several medical complications. In many cases, but not all, these pauses are accompanied by severe snoring. They can lead to brief periods of wakefulness that significantly degrade sleep quality over time.
Mild to Moderate Apnea: The Signs to Look Out For
Sleep apnea is often subtle. Breathing pauses can happen multiple times throughout the night and the sufferer may not ever notice them. The first sign is often an onset of snoring where the sufferer never snored before. As the condition develops, it can prevent deep, restful sleep.
Although mild apnea has little association with severe medical conditions, overall lack of sleep can take a significant toll on sufferers. Ongoing sleep disturbances are correlated with many health risks, including a vastly increased risk of being in a serious accident.
A sleeping partner is often the first person to notice the brief periods of wakefulness, along with snoring or gasping, which usually signifies the condition.
Luckily, in many cases, Dr. David Brumbaugh, D.D.S., can help sufferers virtually eliminate their symptoms in one step. Only the most severe cases resist dental intervention.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
With custom mouth guards, apnea sufferers no longer need to struggle. It only takes a single quick examination to photograph teeth and develop a dental appliance that can have profound, immediate effects.
The sufferer wears these convenient and safe appliances at night to prevent the airway from becoming obstructed as the body relaxes during sleep. Most patients report a noticeable positive effect on sleep quality from the very first night.