Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that abruptly stops your breathing and awakens you multiple times during the night due to not enough oxygen being delivered to the brain. If you have noticed that you have been having excessive headaches, lousy night's sleep, or if someone (such as a partner) informs you of loud and excessive snoring, it could be possible you have sleep apnea. Many signs could indicate sleep apnea, but it is still tough to diagnose. At Haws Family Dental in Brigham City, Utah, we work closely with medical professionals to help patients diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea.


What is Sleep Apnea?

There are three main types of sleep apnea. The first type is central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when your central nervous system or brain does not communicate with your body, and you stop breathing while sleeping. The most common type we see in our office affecting our patients is obstructive sleep apnea. Another type of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea is a mixture of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. When you receive a diagnosis, it is essential to ask your doctor what sleep apnea you may have. The type of sleep apnea you have will guide your treatment plan moving forward. Obstructive sleep apnea is when something is obstructing proper airflow through your throat. Airflow obstruction is caused by a narrow airway, whether it be natural or caused by a relaxation of throat tissues while asleep. When you first believe you have sleep apnea, you will be ordered to take a sleep test by your medical professional, and after it has been diagnosed, your doctor will refer you to your dental professional.


What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Not only does just having a narrow airway cause sleep apnea but some other reasons and factors can increase your risk for developing sleep apnea:

  • Obesity can increase your risk due to fat deposits around the neck, making it easier for the throat to close

  • Older adults are more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea

  • Smoking can increase fluid retention and inflammation


What is the Treatment for Sleep Apnea?

CPAP

Commonly, patients are recommended to use an assisted breathing machine or a CPAP that uses pressurized oxygen to force air down their throat during sleep to keep their airways open. The machine trains your brain to keep the throat muscles open while you sleep. Although it is common to use a CPAP, it is not a permanent solution to fixing your sleep apnea.

Oral Dental Device

This form of treatment is very frequently used for patients who have difficulty sleeping with a mask on their face or find the CPAP annoying. There are multiple different dental appliances made to position the tongue to enable good airflow.

Surgical

A dental professional can do oral surgery to reposition your jaw bone, allowing the throat muscles and airway to open and close properly. It is essential to work with your dentist for this option so that your teeth will not be affected. Another type of oral surgery that can be done is removing excessive tissue in the back of your mouth/throat. Extra tissue may be blocking the airway or even pushing the throat muscles down, so pulling it could solve many problems.


If you are having difficulty sleeping, we invite you to come into our dental office in Brigham City, Utah, as soon as possible. Lack of sleep can lead to other serious health problems. Haws Family Dental is here to help you treat sleep apnea as quickly as possible. For more information about sleep apnea or to make an appointment, call our office today.