Sleep apnea is a common problem that people commonly misunderstood. It’s a dangerous issue that can damage your overall health and make things extremely comfortable for you and your bed partner.
Smile Creations — your leading Neenah, WI dental office — offers a number of dental treatments for patients of all dental needs. This includes your dental cleanings along with advanced treatments like full-mouth reconstruction with dental implants and treating sleep issues. You can easily book an appointment with us by calling 920-843-9586 or using the online form to request a visit.
Today we want to share some additional information about sleep apnea. It’s easily one of the most misunderstood dental issues out there. People commonly see sleep apnea only as heavy snoring, but it’s so much more than that. So here are a common myths about sleep apnea that you need to avoid.
Sleep apnea isn’t snoring
Though snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea, you can have sleep apnea without snoring at all. Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when you experience pauses in breathing. There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, with obstructive sleep apnea being the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue, often the tongue, blocks the airway during sleep. A person with severe sleep apnea will have as many as 30 sleep apnea episodes an hour. Many times during these episodes, patients will wake themselves up gasping for air. As a result, it’s difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea is potentially life-threatening
It’s possible for sleep apnea to be deadly. That’s not an exaggeration. People have actually died in their sleep because of complications from sleep apnea. Additionally, there are long-term health problems with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts your entire body. During apneic episodes, your blood pressure will rise because your body is in distress. Those apneic episodes also make it nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep. There are many people with sleep apnea who wake up after eight hours of sleep still feeling exhausted.
Sleep apnea increases your risk of having these problems:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
Anyone can have sleep apnea
It’s a common misconception that men are the only people who struggle with sleep apnea. It’s true that men 40 or older are at the highest risk, but no one is immune from sleep apnea. Women and children can have sleep apnea. And while people who are obese are at a higher risk of sleep apnea, a person with a healthier body weight can also have sleep apnea. Simply, there are a variety of factors that can cause sleep apnea. Here are some of the factors:
- Family history
- Neck size greater than 18 inches (men) and 17 inches (women)
- Narrowed airway
- High blood pressure
The CPAP Isn’t Always Your Only Treatment Option
When you picture a sleep apnea treatment, you probably imagine someone wearing a CPAP machine. The CPAP is a machine that has a motor, hose, and mask. The CPAP continuously pushes air into the lungs during sleep to help the patients avoid pauses in breathing. The problem with the CPAP is that it obstructs sleep. People hate dealing with the mask, and they sometimes find the machine noisy. This is especially bad for bed partners.
Studies have found that the CPAP has only about a 50 percent compliance rate. That rate isn’t ideal. At Smile Creations, we want something that will work and is easy to use. That’s why we’re providing an oral appliance that can treat obstructive sleep apnea. The sleep apnea oral appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to keep the airways open while you sleep. We simply take an impression of the mouth and then craft the appliance to perfectly fit your bite.
The great thing about sleep apnea treatment is that it works right away. Patients notice an immediate change in their quality of sleep. The appliance resolves snoring, and it will not obstruct your sleep or the sleep of your partner.
When it comes to sleep apnea, Smile Creations is taking huge steps toward providing great solutions that fit your lifestyle. If you’ve been told you snore or find yourself waking up still feeling exhausted, give us a call today at 920-843-9586 or use the online form to request a visit.