Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing rhythm is disrupted as you sleep, causing you to snore loudly. The breathing pattern is caused by a pause, which can last up to 20 seconds. When you have sleep apnea, you temporarily lose oxygen while sleeping, resulting in extremely short, interrupted sleep that you may not even remember when you wake up. Apnea may produce health problems that might be dangerous at times. Our dental experts at Cascade Dental will educate you about sleep apnea and the potential consequences.
Sleep Apnea Types
The most common kind of apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which happens when the muscles that support the soft tissues in the upper airway relax as you sleep and the brain stops transmitting signals for a short period of time, obstructing normal airflow and causing snoring. Central sleep apnea is a condition of the central nervous system in which the brain stops delivering signals to the muscles that govern breathing. It is related to a medical issue. Complex sleep apnea is a mix of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
Diagnosis of sleep apnea begins when you talk to the dentist about your medical past and the dentist will conduct a physical dental examination. The dentist will want to know more about your sleeping and snoring patterns even during the day. The neck and head examination will be done so that the dentist will look for issues connected to the sleep apnea condition. If you experience drowsiness during the day, the doctor will need to know about the sleeping habits and quality of sleep you get.
The doctor can recommend a test using polysomnography. This is a test that involves you sleeping in a hospital and the medical professional will monitor how you sleep and you will be connected to the device so that there will be a record of physiological issues. If you have physiological disorders, then the sleep may show that you have sleep-disordered breathing or any other sleep disorder. Another test can be done using EEG and EOM test where electrodes get attached to the scalp to monitor the waves of the brain before, during, and after sleep. EOM records the movements of the eye. The brain waves and eye movements tell the medical professional the timing of different sleep phases.
A change in lifestyle may help cure sleep apnea. The dentist will assess if you have sleep apnea due to a medical condition or natural factors. The doctor will suggest you to drop some weight in order to lessen the amount of times you have disrupted sleep. This is because your throat may be expanded, allowing for considerably greater ventilation as you sleep. Exercising is another method that the doctor will recommend to decrease sleep apnea. Aerobic exercise strengthens the muscles in the airways, which improves the way you breathe when sleeping.
Our dental staff at Cascade Dental will evaluate what is causing your sleep apnea and provide the best treatment option for you. If you note that you have sleep apnea it is good that you book a dental appointment by calling us at 541-779-6401.