Sleep apnea is a profoundly dangerous medical condition where a sleeping individual’s breathing actually stops, perhaps dozens or hundreds of times each hour. Patients awaken in the morning, still fatigued because their sleep was interrupted all night as they struggled to breathe. They might not even realize that this is happening.
How is Sleep Apnea a Health Hazard?
Without treatment, the sleeper with apnea experiences hundreds of mini-arousals as their body struggles to get a breath of air into his or her lungs. The sleep apnea patient lives in a state of ongoing sleep-deprivation and fatigue. This may lead to the patient having difficulties at school or work; they are at risk while operating a car, because they may experience micro-sleeps throughout the day with absolutely no warning. Increases in blood pressure are almost always seen, with the sleep apnea patient at an increased risk for developing heart failure or stroke.
Categories of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Of the two, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the more common. It is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue muscles surrounding the throat collapse during sleep. Central Sleep Apnea is far less common, caused by the brain’s failure to signal the lungs to breathe and is best treated by a neurologist.
How is obstructive sleep apnea treated at Fort Worth Dental?
The dentists are Fort Worth Dental are able to contribute to the effort of keeping the sleep apnea patient’s throat open by providing an intra-oral device that acts to move the jaw forward, which opens the patients airway.