Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder and serious medical condition that causes interruptions or disturbances in a person’s airflow during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is when sleep apnea is caused by obstructions of the airway such as the tongue rolling back or collapsed soft tissues onto the airway.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can continue to the development of several health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver problems.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea can include but are not limited to:
- Extreme drowsiness during the day
- Changes in personality
- Increased irritability
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Morning headaches
- Dry or sore throat after awakening
Sleep apnea treatment will vary depending on the patient and the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, our dentists may recommend an oral appliance.
An oral appliance works to treat obstructive sleep apnea by fitting over your teeth and working to keep your airway open while you sleep. It can work by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage, or by holding your jaw in a position to prevent airway blockages during sleep.