The right dentist can do more for your health than helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums. Our Orlando FL dental office is providing elite treatments to help patients manage their overall health, too. Part of that comes with nutritional counseling, but another aspect of this is helping you sleep better and manage sleep apnea.
Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives. A great night’s sleep gives us mental clarity and stamina and improves our overall health. At Overmeyer Family Dental, we are using a comfortable oral appliance to help you manage sleep apnea and get a better night’s rest. Today we want to run through a few of the health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea as well as the advantages of treating sleep apnea.
The dangers of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs whenever the airway is obstructed, and central sleep apnea, which occurs whenever the brain fails to send signals to the brain during sleep. Of the two, obstructive sleep apnea is the more common.
One of the major problems is that patients often write off sleep apnea as simple snoring. It’s far more serious than that. First off, sleep apnea isn’t snoring; it’s pausing in breathing. People with serious sleep apnea sometimes experience 30 pauses in breathing every hour. These pauses in breathing cause the blood pressure to rise. When you experience frequent rises in blood pressure, you’re at a higher risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes, These are some of the number one chronic illnesses in America. So try not to make it more likely.
Even more concerning, some people have even passed away because of sleep apnea complications. You might remember the NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White. He played several seasons for the Green Bay Packers and won a Super Bowl. Just a years in to retirement, however, he died from sleep apnea complications.
Here are other common issues related to sleep apnea:
- Restless sleeping
- Constant fatigue
- Snoring or gasping for air
- Waking up with headaches
Problems Using CPAP for Sleep Apnea
The first treatments for sleep apnea came just a few decades ago. That’s the CPAP, a device that uses a hose, mask, and machine to continually push air into the lungs while you sleep. This leaves the airway open so you won’t wake up gasping for air. The CPAP is still the gold standard of treatment, but people find the device uncomfortable. In fact, studies have found that the compliance rate of the CPAP is only about 50 percent. Patients who wear the CPAP often complain about the comfort of the mask or even the noise of the machine. Some patients even say the CPAP keeps them awake or their bed partner. These are major concerns.
As an alternative to the CPAP, we’re using an oral appliance. The oral appliance can treat those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The device works by pushing the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep. You’ll see a reduction in snoring and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. Dr. Thomas Overmeyer, the founder of Overmeyer Family Dental, uses a snore appliance and has for almost 20 years!
If you have problems snoring or have been told you wake up several times a night gasping for air, you need to take a sleep study. The sleep study will test your oxygen levels while you sleep and assess the number of times you experience pauses in breathing at night. You can schedule your appointment with us today by calling us at 407-603-3839. Or use our online form to book a visit.