Sleep Apnea in Sacramento, CA
Snoring can be a frustrating habit. More than that, millions of people who think they have a snoring problem actually have a concerning sleep disorder called sleep apnea. The most common type of apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which can easily be mistaken for nothing more than snoring.
Due to the enormous health consequences associated with obstructive sleep apnea, it is important to recognize how this condition differs from snoring. When someone snores, the sound we hear is made by vibration of soft tissues located in the back of the throat and the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea does sound very similar, but it is marked by moments of silence that indicate a complete blockage in the airway.
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In addition to loud, chronic snoring, a person with obstructive sleep apnea may experience:
- Restless sleep
- Loud gasping or choking sounds
- Feeling excessively tired during the day
- Difficulty staying on track or remembering information
- A chronic morning sore throat or headache
- Anxiety or depression (new or worsening)
- Moodiness and irritability
Solving the problem and restoring sleep
Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated in a few different ways. The standard medical treatment is the prescribed use of CPAP. This therapeutic machine looks like a small air compressor. It sits bedside, and a hose from the machine forces air pressure through the airway via a mask worn over the nose. Though the continual pressure from forced air is gentle, many patients find treatment intolerable due to side effects such as claustrophobia, dry eyes, or stomach bloating.
At Sacramento Natural Dentistry, patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from a discreet CPAP alternative, oral appliance therapy. There are several advantages to this system, such as:
- Comfortable appliance fits in the mouth easily
- Sleep position is not limited due to the attachment to the machine
- You can conveniently take your oral appliance with you when you travel
- Speaking, moving, and drinking are not inhibited by the oral appliance
Oral appliance therapy involves the nightly wear of an FDA-approved precision-made oral device that is similar to a mouth guard. Research has shown that patients who choose this therapy experience a significant improvement in daytime energy levels and oxygen saturation.