It is estimated that more than 18 million people suffer with sleep apnea in the United States. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition that can be very serious. People who have this disorder are at greater risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. This condition also affects individual’s daytime activities due to sleepiness.
Sleep apnea occurs as the tongue and softer tissue of the back of the throat collapse, blocking the airway while sleeping. This causes pauses in breathing, preventing air to enter the lungs. These pauses can happen several times each night or just a few times. Treatment often includes the use of an oral device that keeps the airway open during sleep. The device repositions and stabilizes the tongue, soft palate and lower jaw.
Many people use oral devices to treat their sleep apnea when other treatments are unsuccessful and when their condition is mild to moderate. Common signs of sleep apnea are loud and frequent snoring, sleepiness during the day and suddenly awakening during sleep gasping for breath or experiencing a choking sound. Oftentimes the individual who is affected with this disorder is unaware of these symptoms and another person will be the first to recognize them.
Obtaining treatment for sleep apnea is important for an individual’s health. Dentists who are trained in oral appliance therapy are very knowledgeable in the different designs of oral devices and can choose the best appliance according to the patient’s needs. The dentist Memphis Tennessee offices that are trained in oral appliance therapy also work with primary care doctors, family dentists and sleep specialists as a team member in diagnostics and treatment.
Visits with the sleep apnea Memphis dentist are required often for monitoring the treatment and evaluating the patient’s teeth and jaws. Seeking treatment for sleep apnea at a dentist Memphis TN specialized practice can prevent many unnecessary health problems and will provide a good night’s sleep, waking refreshed and feeling more energetic and alert during daytime hours.