What You Can Do About Your Sleep Apnea
Would you like to find a solution to your sleep apnea, but don't want to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine? Jacksonville, FL, dentist Dr. James Schumacher of Schumacher Dental Center discusses sleep apnea and explains how a simple dental device can relieve your symptoms.
Breathing pauses are bad for your health
Breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea prevent you from getting a good night's sleep, but also have more ominous consequences. When your brain is deprived of oxygen throughout the night, even if each pause only lasts seconds, your risk of heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and other serious diseases and conditions increase.
Sleep apnea is also responsible for other less severe, yet still dangerous, symptoms. If you constantly wake up during the night because you stop breathing, it's difficult to feel energetic in the morning. Sleep deprivation can affect your memory and your ability to concentrate. If you're fatigued, you may even find yourself falling asleep when you're driving.
Airway blockages cause sleep apnea
Your entire body relaxes when you sleep, including your tongue. As you drift into what you hope will be a deep slumber, your tongue partially or completely blocks your windpipe. Your tongue begins to vibrate when air tries to enter your airway, which causes loud snoring. You may jerk awake or find yourself gasping for air if your airway becomes completely blocked.
Oral appliances can successfully treat sleep apnea
CPAP machines aren't the ideal solution for everyone. The masks can be uncomfortable and even the quietest machines can prevent you or your partner from falling asleep. Some people try several different types of machines and masks before deciding that they would rather just live with sleep apnea. Unfortunately, ignoring sleep apnea can be very detrimental to your health.
Luckily, there's an effective low-tech solution that can improve air flow. An oral appliance worn over your teeth repositions your jaw and holds it forward, preventing your tongue from blocking your airway. The device is custom-made for your mouth and fitted in our Jacksonville office.
Oral appliances improve your sleep and decrease your risk of serious health problems. If you're interested in obtaining an appliance, call Jacksonville, FL, dentist Dr. James Schumacher of Schumacher Dental Center at (904) 388-3559 to schedule an appointment.