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Approximately 22 million Americans have moderate to severe sleep apnea, while 10 percent of the population has mild obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping respiratory disorder that causes your breathing to reduce or stop. Most of the time, this is caused by an obstruction of your pharynx and results in reduced levels of oxygen in your blood. These respiratory interruptions may last for 10 seconds and in some cases, even 60 seconds, until your brain responds to the lack of oxygen and triggers micro-awakenings to correct the airflow. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea do not even realize they woke up several times, sometimes even as much as hundreds of times, in a single night. Nevertheless, your sleep is disrupted and restless.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
Common Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep-related issues like sleep apnea can be very harmful to your overall health. Some signs that you suffer from sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea can also lead to more serious health problems like:
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Mild sleep apnea can be treated simply by changing your lifestyle habits. These include:
Breathing appliances, like the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) appliance, can be effective in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. These appliances deliver slightly pressurized airflow to your nose and mouth which helps keep your airways open. This is one of the most common types of treatment options.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances and dental devices, like night mouthguards and tongue retaining devices, can help in keeping your airways open. These devices can be custom-made for you by Dr. Alexandra Dahm or
Alexandra Dahm, DDS at Tigard Family Dental to treat sleep apnea.
Surgery for Sleep Apnea
If you have exhausted all of the non-invasive treatment options, surgery may be recommended. If you have enlarged tonsils, a deviated septum, or a small mandible with an overbite that narrows down your throat, you may need surgery to correct sleep apnea. The most common types of surgeries include nasal surgery, removal of tonsils and adenoids or excess tissues at the back of your throat. In some procedures, plastic implant rods will need to be placed in your palate. Like all surgeries, these increase the risk of infections and complications. Symptoms may also worsen after the treatment. That is why surgery should only be treated as a last recourse.
Before taking the leap into invasive procedures, consult Dr. Alexandra Dahm at Tigard Family Dental. Call us now at (971) 762-1262 to schedule an appointment.
Very friendly and Professional staff. I was impressed by the cleanliness. The staff is efficient and does excellent work. First time I've enjoyed going to the dentist and receiving dental care. Way to go Tigard Family Dental!