Sleep Apnea: The Ultimate Sleeping Buzz Kill
You are in a nice deep, peaceful sleep, dreaming that you are overlooking the mountains from a cabin in the woods… when all of a sudden, it sounds like someone is unmercifully cutting down the logs from your cabin in your ear! You wake up with a jolt ready to hit the ground running for safety, when you realize that your loved one is cutting the logs in their sleep! These loud, gaping snores are enough to make you move into the next bedroom to get some sound shut eye before you shove your pillow in your loved one’s face! But, before you do that, let’s take a look at what causes snoring and how you can help remedy this annoying, yet serious health issue.
That wonderful sound of chainsaws going off, aka snoring, is caused by a partial obstruction of the airway in the back of the throat. If you hear a snoring person suddenly stop breathing for several seconds and gasp for air before continuing to snore, then you have witnessed ‘apnea.’ Now the problem is no longer just annoying; it is potentially life threatening, as this kind of snoring can lead to the person to stop breathing in their sleep.
Sleep apnea is a very common health issue that affects a large segment of our population, including children. Sleep apnea can get worse with age as well as with extra weight gain, as extra weight compresses the diaphragm when a person lies down, so tackling this issue early on will save lots of sleepless nights for everyone in the household and can save a life!
Obstructive sleep apnea has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by a whopping 300-400%! Sleep apnea also increases blood sugar and complicates diabetes control, increases blood pressure, and has been shown to decrease life expectancy by 10-20 years! Sleep apnea can lead to a feeling of excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and a general lack of energy, which nobody has time for these days! It is also highly correlated with morning headaches, migraine headaches, depression, acid reflux disease, and tooth grinding. Sleep apnea and lack of quality sleep has even been shown to decrease cognitive thinking ability over time. Who knew that getting sound sleep at night could affect our overall health so much!
Historically, sleep apnea has been managed by the use of a pressurized breathing machine called CPAP, bi-PAP, or other names. They typically involve the use of a compressor, a humidifier, a hose, and a mask, which delivers air under pressure to help keep the airway from collapsing. It has been shown to be very effective at controlling obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, and if you have severe apnea and can tolerate it, you should absolutely use it. However, the list of reasons why many people don’t use the machine is quite long and includes, but is not limited to, inconvenience, discomfort, noise, claustrophobia, and lifestyle.
Now, before you start thinking that the current treatments and machines available for sleep apnea are not for you, I have great news! There is now an alternative therapy that has been shown to be nearly as effective at managing sleep apnea and snoring as pressure machines, but without the inconveniences of machines, wires, and masks! A specially trained dentist can provide you with a custom oral airway dilator for use at night. Similar in appearance to orthodontic retainers (just don’t drop this down the drain!), they fit over your teeth and work by either moving your lower jaw forward slightly or by placing gentle pressure on the tongue to keep it from falling back. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends this concept as first line therapy for anyone diagnosed with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea or even for people with severe cases of sleep apnea who are not tolerant of CPAP.
Proper evaluation and examination of your mouth and airway, as well as the condition of your TMJs (the jaw joints), and selection of the appropriate device along with custom fabrication will all help ensure the best fit and effectiveness possible. Your new nighttime mouth jewelry may even be covered by medical insurance!
Don’t risk your quality of sleep, your health, and your life any longer! Sleep better! Feel better! Live longer! If you think you or someone you know may have this condition, then please pick up the phone to find out more about how this simple nighttime adjustment and treatment can change your life and the life of the people you live with, aka, no more nighttime log cutting!
Call us at (951) 695-6269 for a consultation. With the coupon on this website the $50 consultation is free!