Sleep apnea is a common problem, but one that doesn’t stand a chance when confronted by the Bellflower oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center. We are a practice that offers a spectrum of dental services, both surgical and topical. One of the most startling facts about sleep apnea that we see is that many who suffer from the issue aren’t even away they have it. Sleep apnea is concerning because it literally causes a person to stop breathing in their sleep for a split second. For many, this means their bodies and brains aren’t getting the right amount of oxygen, which disrupts the natural regeneration of different parts of the body.
Sleep apnea is also known for making people tired and irritable because they don’t get the right amount of sleep. Even worse, individuals who are left untreated often develop high blood pressure as well as an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Over the long term, severe sleep apnea can lead to heart failure and potentially death.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are a couple of types of sleep apnea. People tend to think of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is when the tongue is sucked back into the throat and blocks the upper airway. People usually wake up when the oxygen level to the brain gets low, but this is not guaranteed. Less severe obstructions are Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS), although patients typically experience the same symptoms as someone with OSA.
Key Contributing Factors
Many factors cause and affect sleep apnea. Being overweight is one of the main culprits, as are relaxed throat muscles and tongue, and enlarged tonsils and adenoids. For some, the structure of the head and neck will be responsible, causing the mouth’s airways to constrict and the throat to experience blockages. Losing weight and having the area examined can go a long way to determining the cause of sleep apnea.
There are options available for every patient. CPAP machines incorporate nasal masks to help limit airway obstruction and deliver pressurized oxygen in precise amounts. For an extreme sufferer, surgical options are available, including an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP). This procedure helps shape the back of the throat and the soft palate. Some additional options include a laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUPP), as well as radio frequency probes.
Don’t let your sleep apnea go untreated when reliable and affordable treatment options are available. Contact Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn more about the many ways that we can help treat your sleep apnea.