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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Central sleep apnea: This type occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the breathing muscles.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea: This type occurs when soft tissues in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when there is an obstruction in the throat or mouth, which obstructs the airways and prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs. This can be caused by either the tongue or the jaw. When the jaw is misaligned, it can cause it to be pushed too far back and obstruct the airway. An overbite can also cause the jaw to be pushed too far back. When the jaw is aligned properly, the tongue is able to move properly in the mouth, and the patient can breathe normally. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, visit your dentist so that they can diagnose you properly and prescribe treatment.

What Are The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

If you have sleep apnea, you’ll likely feel tired during the day. You might also have excessive throat and jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. The other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Dry mouth during the night
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness 

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

There are a few ways your dentist can diagnose sleep apnea, but the most common is a sleep study. This study involves an overnight stay at a sleep clinic or hospital where you will be monitored while you sleep. You will be hooked up to a variety of monitors that analyze your breathing, heart rate, oxygen level, and brain patterns. If there are any signs of sleep apnea, the staff can wake you and ask you to complete some tasks, such as walking in a straight line.

What Are My Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?

In individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), normal breathing is disrupted as the airway collapses. This causes episode where breathing stops entirely as you sleep. These episodes can occur up to hundreds of times a night. OSA can cause you to stop breathing for short periods of time, up to a minute, which can occur 30 times or more per hour. OSA is linked to a number of serious health conditions. Treatment for OSA includes lifestyle changes, oral devices, breathing devices, and surgery.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that causes breathing to stop periodically throughout the night. These pauses in breathing, called apneas, typically last between 10 and 30 seconds. These episodes can occur hundreds of times throughout the night, making sleep extremely difficult, if not impossible.

To find out more about the dental services offered at Gerard and Moore Dental, call (505)-293-6125 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 8310 Palomas Ave NE Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87109.



8310 Palomas Ave NE Suite A,
Albuquerque, NM 87109

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