What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. People who have this condition often stop breathing during sleep, which can occur for hundreds of times throughout the night. As a result, the brain, as well as the rest of the body, does not get enough oxygen that it needs to function optimally.
There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of this condition, which occurs due to a blockage in the airway.
Central Sleep Apnea
- Central Sleep Apnea while there is no blockage, the brain tends to fail in signaling the respiratory muscles to breathe, as characterized by an unstable respiratory control center.
Sleep Apnea Causes
When you fall asleep, your mouth and throat tissues become relaxed, causing them to fall toward your throat. This creates crowding of the throat by the tongue and soft palate, resulting in a partially blocked or totally blocked airway. If the oxygen in your blood drops too low because of this, your brain sends a message to your body to unblock the airway. Your body’s reaction is to tighten your throat muscles with a loud gasp or snort, which means you partially awaken. The airflow to the body begins again after this reflex.
Snoring can mean that there is an obstruction to the flow of air that passes through the back of the nose and mouth, which is a collapsible section of the airway where the uvula and soft palate and the tongue and upper throat meet. When these structures strike on each other during breathing, they cause a vibration that then becomes the sound of snoring.
Children who experience chronic snoring may have certain problems involving the adenoids and tonsils, which may require them to undergo the removal of such organs to achieve or return to their optimal health.
What Leads to Snoring?
A person who has poor muscle tone in the throat or tongue may snore, as the tongue tends to fall backward towards the airway or the muscles of throat tend to draw sideways into the airway. Another condition is when a person has large adenoids or tonsils. Such excessive bulkiness in the throat tissues can lead to the narrowing of the airway, which causes snoring. It is also possible for a person to snore if he or she has a long uvula or a long palate that narrows the opening in the nasal passages. Lastly, a stuffy nose can obstruct the nasal airways, creating a vacuum that pulls the floppy throat tissues together and resulting to snoring.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
A lot of people view snoring as a normal part of sleeping. Only a few know that it can be an indication of an obstruction in one’s breathing, which means that it should not be taken lightly. Sleeping disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea can be addressed properly through the expertise of Dr. Joel Smith. Our facility in Beaumont, Texas, is always open for consultations or inquiries regarding such conditions.
Dr. Smith provides a wide range of sleep apnea treatment options. Treatments include CPAP, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, thermal ablation, and much more. During your consultation with us here in Beaumont, Texas, you will be given various treatment options and will be advised on the right treatment to address your situation.
By repositioning the lower jaw forward, this allows your airway to open more and assists you in breathing without throat or tongue interferences. A sleep appliance can enhance the quality of your sleep, as well as lessen daytime sleepiness, irritability, sluggish feelings, headaches, and other serious health problems that come from sleep-disordered breathing. In addition, your bed partner may experience and enjoy more quiet nights of sleep.
To get started, we will examine your mouth and ask some questions about your health and sleep history, and consult your physician. After their diagnoses, we will take molds of your teeth and measure and record a bite registration with your lower jaw in a forward position. These dental records will be sent to a laboratory where the device will be custom made for you. The lab will then send the custom appliance back to us and Dr. Smith will show you how to insert, remove, clean, and care for your device.
Is Sleep Apnea Treatment Safe?
Yes! The treatment is much safer than not actually treating it and waiting too long.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information on treatment of sleep apnea, contact our Beaumont, TX office today. Call (409) 895-0089 today to schedule a consultation with LVI dentist Dr. Joel Smith!