Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, resulting in some amount of oxygen deprivation. The Greek word “apnea” means “without breath.” With each apnea event, your brain rouses you to signal breathing to resume. As a result, your sleep becomes extremely fragmented. A sleep physician often diagnoses the condition with a sleep study. However, an Orthodontist can treat you to correct your bite and enlarge your airway, which may help the condition.
Mild cases of Sleep Apnea can be treated a night time oral device that a Dentist or Orthodontist can make for you. However, if you have a severe case of Sleep Apnea, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (where your airway collapses) or Central Apnea (which is brain signaling problem), oral devices will not be sufficient. In those cases, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Machine is necessary.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- No snoring
- Feeling tired after a full night’s sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Waking up suddenly with the feeling that you were choking
- Repeatedly waking up with a racing heart
- Snorting yourself awake repeatedly
More than 22 million Americans have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, including children. The condition is not limited to people of any specific age, weight, gender, or race.