Two common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and waking up gasping for air. But the problem is much more complex and serious than snoring or sleep disruption. Dr. Biggers and our staff in Midlothian, VA understand the health consequences of sleep apnea and have reliable and comfortable treatments.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people. It’s more prevalent in men than women, and untreated sleep apnea has been linked to serious health problems like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Those are some of the leading causes of death in America. Biggers Family Dentistry is here to treat your sleep apnea, give you a better night’s rest, and reduce the risk of major health problems. In fact, new studies are looking into the role sleep apnea treatment can play in helping diabetic patients manage their blood-sugar levels.
If your snoring or sleep apnea is keeping up your bed partner or others in the house, it’s now time to make a change. Give us a call today at 804-977-0092.
What Happens When You Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs whenever you experience pauses in breathing. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs whenever soft tissue literally blocks the airway during sleep. During an apneic episode, your blood pressure will rise. People with severe sleep apnea experience this as often as 30 times an hour. With the constant rise in blood pressure, a person with sleep apnea will also have elevated blood pressure throughout the day.
People with sleep apnea often experience these signs:
- Restless sleeping
- Constant fatigue
- Early morning headaches
- Sore throat
Men 40 and older face the highest risk of sleep apnea, but the problem can affect anyone at any age. You’re at a higher risk if you have a neck size bigger than 18 inches in men and 17 inches in women.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
People have struggled with sleep apnea forever, but sleep dentistry is actually a relatively new medicine. The first sleep apnea appliances, the CPAP, were developed in the 1980s. The CPAP is used to constantly push air into the lungs during sleep. It includes a machine, hose, and mask. The newer appliances use a nose mask, but some patients still find the treatment uncomfortable. In fact, studies have shown that people only use the CPAP about 50 percent of the time. That’s not a great compliance rate, as the treatment only works whenever you wear it. To help with this problem, we’re now using a comfortable oral appliance. The appliance has become the go-to treatment for helping patients overcome mild to moderate sleep apnea issues.
The sleep apnea oral appliance sits on the lower teeth and pushes the jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep. Our patients find the treatment comfortable and easy to use. The device is also easy to travel with.
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, understand that it’s more than a common annoyance. It’s an overall health issue that can derail your life. Give us a call today 804-977-0092 to evaluate your sleep problems and get the treatment you need.