Essenmacher Family Dental

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Albuquerque, NM

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing periodically during sleep. This disorder is potentially dangerous and can cause health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, liver problems, or even Type 2 diabetes. There are a few types of sleep apnea, including:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs from airway obstruction and is the most common type of sleep apnea. The soft tissues can narrow the airway, and the throat muscles relax. This causes a lower oxygen level in your blood and signals to the brain that you cannot breathe. Unfortunately, many patients do not remember these occurrences and can repeat them overnight.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is a less common type of sleep apnea caused by problems with the brain’s control of breathing. No signals are sent to allow you to breathe again, so there will be a short period where you stop breathing altogether. Central sleep apnea is common for people who have suffered from a brain injury or stroke.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are the two components of complex sleep apnea syndrome. Receiving a proper diagnosis from a sleep physician or specialist is crucial to your health. We want you to not only receive a restful sleep every night but improve your health and quality of life.

Commons Symptoms and When to See a Doctor

Many people do not even realize they have sleep apnea, as the symptoms can be mild or mistaken for other conditions. However, sleep apnea should not be ignored, as it can lead to serious health complications. The most common sleep apnea symptoms are:
  • excessive or loud snoring
  • difficulty staying asleep
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • restless sleep
  • awakening with a headache
If you experience these symptoms, it is crucial to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. In addition, having a better night’s sleep is essential to your health and will increase your quality of life.

Risk Factors

Anyone can suffer from sleep disorders and sleep apnea, even children. However, several factors increase the risk of a person developing sleep apnea, including:
  • Being overweight
  • People with thicker neck circumferences
  • Being male
  • Smoking
  • Using alcohol
  • Having heart disorders or other medical conditions

How do dentists treat obstructive sleep apnea?

Your doctor or dentist will need to form a proper diagnosis before treating sleep apnea. Our dentist will likely refer you to a center for sleep disorders to perform an at-home sleep study. Once your doctor has determined your diagnosis, they will provide a planned treatment for sleep apnea.

Therapies

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or a combination of other oral appliances and therapies to help you sleep better at night. If the therapies do not work, surgery will be the last option to help open up your airways.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine delivers a continuous flow of air through a mask you wear during sleep, and this pressure helps keep your airway open and prevents sleep apnea episodes. This can be used for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Oral Appliance Therapy

If you have mild sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe an oral appliance to keep your airway open during sleep. This device is similar to a mouthguard and fits snugly over your teeth to keep your jaw in a stable position.

Surgery

If sleep apnea is caused by an anatomical problem, such as enlarged tonsils or a deformity in the roof of your mouth, surgery may be recommended to correct the problem.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

If an incorrect bite causes sleep apnea, corrective jaw surgery may be recommended to move your jaw into a more optimal position. This surgery is often combined with other therapies to treat sleep apnea. Tissue Removal or Shrinkage Sometimes removal or shrinkage of the tissues at the back of the throat and soft palate is necessary to open up the airways and improve sleep apnea. This surgery is often combined with other therapies to treat sleep apnea.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Don’t use sleeping pills

Visit Essenmacher Family Dental

We offer sleep apnea treatment in Albuquerque, NM. Our dentists are experienced in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, please call our office to schedule an appointment.