Your dentist explains the factors that may lead to sleep apnea treatment in Indianapolis
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of this particular sleep disorder. The closing of the airway in obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to pressure from surrounding muscles and fat tissue. As muscles relax fully when we sleep, their weight may be too much for the airway and breathing becomes completely blocked. Sleep apnea may sound an awful lot like snoring but, in reality, there is a lot more to it than that.
When the airway becomes blocked, airflow stops. This is heard as momentary silence between loud snoring. When the brain realizes it is getting no oxygen, it alerts the body with a jolt of adrenaline, which kick-starts the heart and blood pressure to prompt breathing. As a result of the biological process, sleep is disrupted but full alertness is not likely.
One of the issues with continual disruptions to the sleep cycle is that REM sleep, in particular, is when the blood pressure regulates and when tissues are repaired. When REM sleep does not occur or is too short memory processes are also impaired. In time, the effects of sleep loss due to apnea become very obvious. Studies show that after just one night, cognitive skills are decreased. After seven nights of poor sleep, instances of difficult remembering, lack of productivity, hyperactivity, depression, and mood swings increase.
- The use of alcohol or tobacco products
- Abnormalities in the structure of the upper airway, such as a deviated septum
- Large neck circumference
- One or more family members has suffered from a sleep disorder
- Age. The risk of obstructive sleep apnea is higher in adults over 65
- Gender. Twice as many middle aged men are affected by sleep apnea as women
Your dentist has the extensive experience with the oral anatomy to provide you with diagnostics and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Patients of Washington Street Dentistry have the ability to resolve sleep issues with comfortable, effective oral appliance therapy. Through the design of a custom appliance, Dr. Church creates a way to keep the airway open with gentle jaw alignment, safely restoring sleep.
Addressing sleep issues with your dentist can change your life. If chronic snoring has you tired all the time, an evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea is the first step in restoring health and wellbeing. Contact our Indianapolis office at (317) 333-6788.