Sleep apnea combated by oral appliance from City of London dentist
Sleep apnea is often confused with, or passed off as, simply snoring. This is not the case. Snoring is the noise associated with breathing during sleep, whereas sleep apnea is actually the sound of someone choking after having stopped breathing. Incredibly 90 per cent of sufferers from sleep apnea have no idea that they have the condition. Those that know, only know because perhaps a partner, relative or friend has told them so. It can be very serious, and sufferers can stop breathing as much as one hundred times in a single night.
There are two main types of sleep apnea that have different causes. The most common form is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA, which is caused when the soft tissue in the throat collapses and blocks the airways during sleep. The other type of sleep apnea involves no form of physical blockage but occurs when the brain stops sending messages to the muscles telling them to breathe. This malfunction occurs in the respiratory control centre of the brain and is known as Central Sleep Apnea.
While sleep apnea can affect anybody, of any age at any time, there are some factors which may make it more likely that you may have the condition. Patients who are overweight, over the age of forty and male are all at a significantly greater risk of developing sleep apnea. Other patients who have large tonsils or who suffer from a genetic pre-disposition to the disease are also at risk.
One of the most worrying things about sleep apnea is that it can be the underlying cause of several other conditions such as hypertension and strokes. If the sleep apnea is unknown it can make in very difficult to diagnose these other conditions. Even more worrying Is that sleep apnea can be the cause of heart failure should it place an excessive strain on the body.
Other research into the condition has found that children who suffer fro sleep apnea are far more likely to be underperforming at school and in every day activities.
Dentists can play a very important role in the treatment of sleep apnea. Since many forms of the condition are caused by malfunctioning muscles in the mouth and throat, a dentist may be able to fit an oral appliance that prevents this from occurring. A City of London dentist will be able to talk through with you your symptoms and assess whether an appliance can help you beat your sleep apnea.