People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.
Are you aware that many dentists are trained to help treat and manage your snoring and sleep apnea?
Dental sleep medicine focuses on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep disorders related to breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dentists and qualified sleep physicians work together to identify the optimal treatment for each patient. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is a professional society for dentists who help patients control snoring and obstructive sleep apnea through the use of oral appliance therapy.
If you have trouble managing your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or wish to learn about alternative treatments for sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Blough today. Oral appliance therapy can help you get a good night’s sleep, and it will improve your health and quality of life.