According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. The cause of this condition is the brief and repeated interruption of your breathing while you sleep. Muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep over-relaxed or large oral tissues from collapsing into your airway, which interrupts your breathing for up to ten seconds or more. This pause can cause low blood oxygen levels and irregular sleep intervals, leading to the possible development of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and fragmented memory loss over time. If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA, then Dr. Stewart can help you treat your condition and help you avoid the resulting health risks.
The Mask or the Mouthpiece?
Two clinical options exist for treating obstructive sleep apnea:
The first is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. The CPAP is utilized to apply a gentle, continuous flow of air pressure that reduces the risk of obstruction in the upper airway.
The second is a mouthpiece (oral appliance), which is fitted and molded specifically to your mouth. Setting your jaw slightly forward, the mouthpiece helps maintain a clear and open airway while you sleep to prevent breathing cessation..
Various non-clinical options also exist:
Obstructive sleep apnea can develop and progress for numerous reasons, and lifestyle choices can affect the ongoing occurrence. Some of the more common risk factors that can instigate or exacerbate sleep apnea include;
- Smoking/chewing tobacco
- Drinking alcohol up to four hours before bedtime
- Allergens in the home or workplace
- Use of sleep assisting substances
ABOUT YOUR LIVONIA DENTIST:
James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.