What is Sleep Apnea?
Hobe Sound, FL
Our expert doctors at DiMeo Family Dental provide complete diagnosis and treatment to individuals with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person experiences discontinuous breathing during sleep, with the breathing interruptions lasting 10 seconds or more. Depending on the severity of the condition, these disruptions in breathing can occur up to 30 times in one hour. This condition can negatively affect your daily activities by causing fatigue, drowsiness during the day, difficulties in concentrating on routine tasks, learning difficulties, and depression. In severe cases, sleep apnea is even associated with diabetes and heart problems.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea, one of which is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is related to the blocking of the airway during sleep, which is caused by the relaxing of the throat muscles. The second type is central sleep apnea (CSA), which occurs when the brain fails to send a signal to the respiratory organs to inhale, causing the breathing cycle to be interrupted.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are numerous factors that can contribute to an individual having sleep apnea. It can be caused by excessive smoking, which causes the upper airway to swell and restrict the passage of air. Obesity is also a major cause of this condition, as the accumulation of fat deposits in the airway can cause them to get narrower. Sleep apnea can also run in families, so if your family members experience this issue, then you are highly likely to be affected by it as well.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Among the adverse effects of sleep apnea already mentioned, another common symptom is the deterioration of teeth and oral health in general. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is largely associated with sleep apnea. TMJs connect the upper and lower jaws, and TMJ disorder may cause pain in jaws and issues related to chewing. Obstruction in nasal passages forces the individual to breathe through the mouth, which causes the mouth to be dry. Dry mouth can lead to dental decay and has further serious implications.
Another common symptom associated with sleep apnea is bruxism or teeth grinding. Interruptions in breathing lead to the person clenching their teeth, which can cause chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Frequent grinding of teeth can also lead to TMJ disorder and can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and headaches. Deteriorating oral health induced by sleep apnea can cause bacterial infections in the mouth, which can lead to mouth sores and dental abscess.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dental corrosion is among the first symptoms of sleep apnea, and if you are experiencing any such issue, feel free to contact us. We offer a complete diagnosis of sleep apnea, identify its possible causes, and also the best treatment possible for any dental/oral issues you might be facing due to this condition.
OSA that occurs due to issues like smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity can be diminished by readjustment to the lifestyle. Those who have this condition genetically can have it treated through various treatment methods, like CPAP, which regulates the airflow through the air passages, and also through a mouthpiece, which readjusts the position of the jaw to aid the flow of air.
Learn more about Sleep Apnea & Oral Appliance Therapy here
Sleep apnea has some serious health implications if it persists, so if you are undergoing any symptoms of this condition, contact us at DiMeo Family Dental at (772) 266-0962 today.