Do you have trouble sleeping or wake up in the middle of the night often? You might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. At Picasso Smiles Dental, we’re not simply capable of treating your dental problems – we’re your El Paso sleep apnea experts as well. If you believe that you may have sleep apnea, visit our El Paso office and we’ll help find a treatment option for your condition.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway while you’re asleep. These non-breathing periods can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and they may even occur over 30 times an hour! These breathing pauses will take you out of a deep sleep and back into a lighter sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause serious health problems and is considered a potentially life-threatening medical condition. Obstructive sleep apnea needs to be diagnosed by a physician with the usage of an overnight sleep study that’s known as a Polysomnogram.
While sleep apnea affects over 20 million men and women in the United States, there are some people who are more at risk for sleep apnea. These people include those who are:
Middle-aged or older
Afflicted with high blood pressure
Stroke or congestive heart failure patients
Obstructive sleep apnea doesn’t just cause snoring or poor quality of sleep, it can also cause:
Damage to the blood vessels, causing a high risk for cardiovascular events, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and heart failure.
Pulmonary complications, like pneumonia, for those with GERD or acid reflux.
Damage to gray matter or brain cells, causing diminished memory or depression.
Diabetes, even in patients who are non-diabetic.
An elevated risk of stroke or death.
Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea may involve a device that’s used to keep your airway open. This can include a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or a dental mouthpiece to keep your jaw forward while sleeping. If you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, an initial trial with a nasal CPAP is necessary because of its greater effectiveness over an oral appliance. However, if you can’t tolerate or refuse to use your CPAP, an oral appliance can be tried if you have a release from your physician.
An oral appliance is a device that’s worn in the mouth, just like an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. The appliance will attempt to keep your airway open during sleep to promote adequate air intake. The oral appliance will help prevent your tongue and soft tissues from collapsing in the back of your throat. There are over 80 types of oral appliances that are in two general categories: Mandibular Advancement Devices and Tongue Retained Appliances. It’s important that the right appliance is chosen for your individual needs. As your trusted El Paso dentists, we’ll help pick out the right sleep apnea treatment option for you so that you’ll have the greatest comfort.
If you have any further questions about sleep apnea, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you'd like to schedule an appointment with us, you can fill out our online appointment request form or give us a call at one of our two convenient locations. Our Westside office phone number is (915) 800-7704 and our Eastside office phone number is (915) 800-7393. We can’t wait to hear from you and help give you a better night of rest!