You experience teeth grinding or bruxism at night when you clench your teeth together. It can be a painful experience and disrupt your sleep and that of your partner. But what causes these episodes? It turns out that teeth grinding at night has several causes. From stress-related anxiety to sleep apnea, the trigger varies by…
3 FAQs About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing briefly while sleeping. The breath stoppage triggers partial arousal from sleep and reduces sleep quality. If you or your partner have been diagnosed with the condition, it is reasonable to have questions. Learning about the condition and the treatment options will help you handle the situation effectively.
FAQs About Sleep Apnea
Below are a few of the common questions and answers that patients may find helpful:
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
The first line of action if sleep apnea is suspected is to see the dentist. The person will need to describe their sleeping patterns and symptoms to the health provider. They could ask their sleeping partner if they noticed signs such as heavy snoring, choking, gasping, or breath stoppage while sleeping. Patients will also need to inform the dentist about current ailments, list of medications, during the appointment.
A popular method of diagnosing sleep apnea is a sleep study, which often requires sleeping overnight in a sleep center. During the sleep study, the patient will be connected to a device that monitors different body functions during sleep, including muscle activity, heart rate, sleep state, respiration, airflow, and level of oxygen in the blood. The test helps to diagnose sleep apnea and ascertain its severity. The patient can be placed on a treatment plan immediately after diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for sleep apnea?
CPAP device is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. The machine has a mask that covers the patient’s nose and mouth and blows air into the nose throughout the night to ensure constant breathing.
Oral appliances are specially designed devices that are worn before sleeping to keep the air passages open and unobstructed throughout sleep. Oral appliances for treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are worn in the mouth like mouth guards or orthodontic retainers. They are sometimes preferred over other treatment options because they are more comfortable and maintenance is easy. They are small and portable, meaning patients can easily carry them around when traveling. This option is also reversible and non-invasive.
In rare cases, the dentist may recommend oral surgery to treat sleep apnea or severe snoring.
What are the adverse effects of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea reduces the quality of the patient’s sleep and the level of oxygen in the blood, which can be detrimental to overall wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can cause daytime drowsiness, fatigue, memory problems, mood disorders, and difficulty concentrating. It could also increase the risk of an accident while driving.
Sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications. Low oxygen level in the blood puts a strain on the cardiovascular system. People with untreated sleep apnea are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and irregular heartbeats. It can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
It is vital that patients seek treatment promptly for sleep apnea if they notice any of its symptoms. This will help improve their sleep quality and ultimately, their general wellbeing.
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