Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which one of 2 things happen while you sleep. You either stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer or your blood oxygen level drops by 4 % or more. The more times you have one of these happen each hour, the less usable oxygen your brain and body receive while sleeping. This prevents your body from being able to assist in the recovery and repair processes that take place while you are in a deep sleep state. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your body cannot achieve that deep sleep it needs.
If you live in the La Mesa area and want to learn more about sleep apnea treatment, contact Dr. Richard Evans at Summit Dental of La Mesa. We are here to help you get the sleep you need to thrive.
Some people lose muscle tone of their tongues when they sleep. This allows it to slip backward and block your airway. This cuts off your air supply, and you stop breathing while asleep. When your body realizes it isn’t getting the air it needs, you awaken and begin breathing again. Sometimes you may be aware of this if you wake up gasping. Other times, you may not even be aware this is happening. This process can repeat itself hundreds of times a night.
People who are overweight will experience an obstructed airway when they lay down. The additional flesh follows gravity and begins to press back into the body. This shuts off the airway, preventing you from breathing. Even if you lay on your side, the additional weight can obstruct your breathing, causing it to stop many times while you are sleeping. In many cases, losing weight will sufficiently correct the problem. It’s essential to work with your dentist or doctor to ensure your breathing begins to improve as the weight eventually comes off.
If you have had a broken nose or any damage to other facial bones, you may experience some degree of sleep apnea. If the damage is severe and affects your breathing while you are awake, you will need to use some form of an appliance that will keep your airway open so you can breathe. Using a custom-fit appliance or CPAP will allow you to breathe more naturally.
People who experience severe sinus infections may also experience inflammation in the throat and tonsils. Any inflammation in these areas can cause obstructions of your airway that prevent you from breathing sufficiently. Having your tonsils removed or taking your medication for your sinus condition will help control sleep apnea.
Upper respiratory allergies that are not brought under control can lead to inflammation of the nasal passages and the back of the mouth. While some allergies only occur during certain seasons of the year, the symptoms may last throughout the year, especially those that affect the sinuses. Uncontrolled upper respiratory allergies that are quite severe can lead to scar tissue in and around the airway.
For information on Sleep Apnea and the treatment options available contact Dr. Richard Evans at Summit Dental of La Mesa. We are here to help you get the sleep you need to thrive. Call (619) 494-2492 if you are a new patient and (619) 460-0700 if you are an existing patient. We have many treatment options that you can rely on to help correct your obstructive sleep apnea.