A common condition called sleep apnea affects more than 26% of adults, and this count is steadily growing. The most common form of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Oftentimes, sleep apnea is associated with loud snoring and difficulty breathing. Duncan, Oklahoma’s local dentist at Chisholm Trail Smile Center offers sleep apnea treatment for lasting relief.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated!
Obstructive sleep apnea can involve different types of treatment, with some patients benefiting the most from a combined approach. Other patients find lasting relief with one type.
The most common forms of OSA treatment include:
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
- Correcting underlying medical conditions (such as lowering high blood pressure)
- An oral appliance from your local dentist
Chisholm Trail Smile Center offers oral appliance therapy for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. In this article, you’ll learn more about OSA and how your local dentist can treat it.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
According to this online article published by the National Library of Medicine, obstructive sleep apnea is primarily characterized by partial or complete airway obstruction during sleep. These are known as apneic episodes and may occur hundreds of times during the night.
Breathing introduces oxygen into the blood. A low blood oxygen level, called hypoxemia, is detrimental to overall health. Oxygen in the blood creates healthy arteries and reduces inflammation, while helping cells rejuvenate.
Sleep is essential to healthy oxygen levels in the blood and an overall healthy body. An adequate amount of sleep each night contributes to a healthy heart, circulatory system, metabolism, immune system, and respiratory system. Regardless of age, the importance of sleep should not be underestimated.
What are some symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?
- Frequent morning headaches
- Rapid heart rate
- Weight gain
- Abrupt waking with gasping, gagging, and/or choking
- Frequent night wakings
- Exhaustion during the day
- Lack of focus
- Falling asleep at times of low activity
What are some of the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea?
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Encephalic (mental/cognitive) alterations
- Behavioral conditions (ie: learning problems, mood disorders)
Risk can increase for patients who are 55 years and older, and men are predominately more inclined than women to have this condition.
Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One study suggests that untreated OSA is associated with high rates of morbidity (suffering caused by a disease or medical condition) and even mortality (death). OSA leads to a vicious cycle within the body that quickly worsens symptoms.
Lack of oxygen while sleeping can cause the release of a chemical that induces bladder spasms. Overactive bladders are rarely thought to be a symptom of sleep apnea yet contribute to frequent night wakings which lead to morbidity caused by lack of sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be a dangerous condition but treatment can provide lasting relief of symptoms.
Learn More About OSA Treatment
At Chisholm Trail Smile Center, Dr. Matthew L. Bridges collaborates with local sleep specialist, Dr. Jones, to ensure a solid diagnosis. As a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Bridges provides a wealth of information on OSA and treatment. Contact our office online to learn more or give us a call at (580) 255-4880!