Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects both adults and children. It is a progressive sleep interruption that occurs due to obstruction of the patient's airway. Sleep apnea can either be treated by your dentist or an oral surgeon.

What are the different types of sleep apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: OSA is the blockage of oxygen into the system due to excessive accumulation of tissue in the back of the throat.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: It is a condition where the brain fails to send accurate and timely signals to the muscles responsible for breathing.
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea: A condition resulted from combined cases of OSA and CSA.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Symptoms of sleep apnea can be identified as follows:

  • Always feeling tired and not well rested
  • Partner hears you stop breathing while sleeping
  • Noisy snoring
  • Abrupt waking up in the middle of the sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth

What is the diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea?

Your primary care physician would be the first to diagnose sleep apnea by identifying the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Diagnosing sleep apnea may involve the expertise of a sleep specialist. Concerning treatment, the sleep specialist may also recommend the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP). The device is designed to deliver a continuous flow of oxygen through a mask that can be worn while you sleep. Your sleep specialist may also look at signs for high blood pressure and other factors to diagnose and treat your condition.

For patients that prefer not to wear a CPAP device or can't tolerate one, a COAT (Continuous Open Airway Therapy) appliance can be made. This positions the lower jaw forward while sleeping so that the airway can't be obstructed.

Only in rare cases would a surgical intervention be required. In such cases, the dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate the tongue for its mobility and tendency to block airflow during sleep.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez in Los Angeles, CA to understand more about your condition.