Before you can have a good day, you must first have a good night — and for most of us, that means seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. But if you or the person one pillow over snores or wakes up noisily multiple times throughout the night, then that good night of quiet and restful sleep may be only a dream. What’s more, that maddening sound may actually be an indication of a more serious concern. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea in Dallas, including its causes, warning signs, and how you or a loved one can find relief through treatment from Dr. Willison at the Dallas Center for Oral Health & Wellness.
What Are the Types of Sleep Apnea?
More than 18 million adults suffer from the disorder known as sleep apnea, a chronic condition that causes breathing to stop many times throughout the night. There are three main forms of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent form of the condition. It occurs when the tongue and lower jaw become so relaxed during sleep they collapse, falling back to block the proper flow of air. Without breath, your brain lacks the oxygen it needs and sends emergency signals to the body to wake up in an effort to resume breathing. Snoring and sudden waking with a gasp or choking sound occur as a result of obstructive sleep apnea.
Although it’s less common, central sleep apnea results in equally disturbed sleep for its sufferers. This form of the condition occurs due to a lack of communication between the brain and the muscles that control breath. Somewhere, a breakdown occurs and the body forgets to breathe — emergency signals are sent to resume breath.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Because sufferers may not remember they’ve experienced a night of restless, interrupted sleep when they wake up in the morning, the condition may remain undiagnosed for months before exhaustions reaches its peak and a diagnosis is finally sought. Unfortunately, sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed due to its similar effects to other conditions affecting sleep, like depression.
Signs you’re dealing with sleep apnea include:
- Loud, chronic snoring (especially prevalent with obstructive sleep apnea)
- Frequent waking throughout the night (often noticed by a partner sleeping nearby)
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Daytime exhaustion, confusion, irritability, and depression
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating while driving or performing other important tasks
It couldn’t be more important to seek an effective treatment for sleep apnea once the problem has been identified. Left untreated, sleep apnea has been linked to several general health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, impotence, and more.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
For years, obstructive sleep apnea was treated with a continuous positive airway pressure machine, also known as the CPAP. Many patients, however, found this to be uncomfortable and did not use it consistently. Fortunately, there is now a simpler alternative. Dr. Willison is the sleep apnea dentist in Dallas who can prescribe a custom-fitted oral appliance that holds the lower jaw in place to prevent airway blockages. When obstructive sleep apnea suffers wear such an appliance, the snoring stops, sleep is consistent, and days are good again.
Compared to the CPAP, a removable oral appliance offers a number of benefits. Some of the most commonly enjoyed advantages of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea include:
- The oral appliance is small and silent, so it doesn’t interrupt the sleep of anyone nearby.
- No special equipment is required for the oral appliance.
- The oral appliance is highly portable, meaning you don’t have to forgo therapy for sleep apnea while traveling.
- Because it’s custom-fit for your mouth, the oral appliance is more comfortable for a better night’s sleep.
Whatever treatment is right for you, know that Dr. Willison is highly experienced in providing sleep apnea treatment in Dallas — and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying all the benefits of a long, restful night’s sleep once again.
Find Relief From Sleep Apnea At Last!
If you suspect that you or someone you love might be suffering from the exhausting effects of sleep apnea, please don’t hesitate to call the dental office of Dr. Willison in Dallas, TX. Because you deserve a full night’s sleep, every single night.