Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleeping condition that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates affects 25 million adults in the U.S. It is characterized by pauses in breathing when a person’s airway becomes blocked or collapses while sleeping. Often caused by excess weight or heavy consumption of alcohol, common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, grinding or clenching teeth at night, and chronic headaches and daytime fatigue, just to name a few.
Many times, it takes a partner complaining about annoying nighttime behavior for someone to realize that they may have a sleeping disorder. Thankfully, our Santa Cruz airway dentist is trained to diagnose and treat sleep apnea in a non-invasive, no-strings-attached (literally) way. Read on to learn more.
The shocking truth about sleep apnea
When a person has sleep apnea, they may take pauses in breathing that last 10-20 seconds through the night. During this time, the brain thinks the person is choking, and the automatic response is to wake the person to breathe. These episodes can happen several times a night and up to 100 times in the most severe cases.
Most people don’t recall being startled awake so many times through the night, but the frequent disruptions to the sleep cycle result in light, restless sleep that impairs concentration and productivity during the day. It can also lead to an increased health risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and/or stroke, and it can even prove to be fatal when sleep disruptions lead to a decrease in mental performance when on the job or behind the wheel of a car.
Many people may avoid seeking treatment for sleep apnea because of the associated sleep study and the continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine that is often used to correct sleep apnea. The CPAP machine is known to be loud and cumbersome, and many users report the mask is uncomfortable to wear at night and also difficult to clean.
Fortunately, dentists like ours in Scotts Valley are successfully treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy, which involves a custom-fabricated device that looks like a mouthguard. The non-invasive appliance holds the jaw and mouth in a position that keeps the airway open, encouraging better breathing through the night. Many of our patients have stopped snoring by taking advantage of oral appliance therapy.
SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT IN LOS GATOS, SCOTTS VALLEY, AND SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
Don’t let sleep apnea steal one more night of sleep for you or your partner. Give Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry a call at (831) 824-5111, or reach us online to schedule a consultation today.