Why do we need to know about Sleep Apnea?

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Sleep apnea is a chronic debilitating disease that often goes undiagnosed because symptoms occur when sufferers are asleep.

Sleep apnea occurs when air passages are blocked during sleep. This can cause apnea which is complete stoppage of breathing or hypopnea which is a partial blockage causing a 30 percent reduction in the airflow.

sleep apneaBoth Apnea and hypopnea can cause significant reduction in oxygen saturation of the blood, which with time can lead to an array of medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, increased risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia and even cancer.

The common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, waking up with tiredness, dry mouth, morning headache and muscle and jaw pain. People who suffer from sleep apnea do not get enough sleep and consequently feel daytime tiredness and fatigue.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you have to undergo a sleep study that could be a lab sleep study or a home sleep study. The sleep data is then retrieved and send to a board certified sleep physician for diagnosis. You can discuss this either with your primary care doctor or a specialist dentist who has training in treating sleep apnea.

Your treatment options include CPAP, oral appliance, surgery, etc. and the choice depends upon the severity of your condition. If the sleep physician approves an oral device for treating your sleep apnea, then dentists can design an oral device that will help keep the your airway open so you can breathe easily while asleep.

The sufferers of sleep apnea also may suffer from sleep related teeth grinding problems and temporo-mandibular joint pain and disease. So when patients choose to go to a dentist for their oral appliance, it is wiser to go to a dentist with specialty training in prosthodontics or orofacial pain management.

Dr. Devi DDS.MS, Smile Design Specialists, is a prosthodontist, offering Cosmetic Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Full Mouth Reconstruction, Sleep Apnea home sleep study and appliance and TMD appliance. Dr. Devi works with board certified sleep physicians. To learn more about sleep Apnea and Dr. Devi, visit the website or call 480-488-9655.