Fort Smith, AR
The team at Harper Dental, are more than pleased to inform you of all you need to know about sleep apnea. The word “apnea” is a term commonly used to describe a lack of breath. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that happens when you stop breathing intermittently while sleeping. Recent reports have shown that 80% of sleep apnea patients are undiagnosed, probably due to the lack of information about this serious disorder.
Sleep apnea is of two types, which include: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). Obstructive Sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It happens when the patient’s airway is blocked by soft tissues of the upper airway relaxing; those tissues then collapse and block the airways stopping the air from getting into the lungs. On the flip side, central sleep apnea is not associated with blocked airway; rather, the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea could be caused by diverse things depending on the age group. In children obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common type of sleep apnea, could be caused by enlarged tonsils and dental conditions such as overbite, while in adults, OSA is prevalently caused by excess weight and obesity. However, whether OSA happens to children or adults, the basis has always been in the blockage of the airway. Central sleep apnea is generally seen in patients with focal sensory system brazenness, such as following a stroke or in patients with neuromuscular maladies like amyotrophic horizontal sclerosis.
Based on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine report, OSA can occur in any age group as discussed earlier, but the prevalence increases between middle and older age. It occurs in about two percent of children and is most common at preschool ages. Visit our clinic for necessary information and a proper check-up on sleep apnea. You will be glad you did!
What Are the Treatments for Sleep Apnea?
It is important you understand that sleep apnea will first of all be diagnosed in our sleep center or lab during an overnight sleep study. The treatment for sleep apnea includes conservative treatment, mechanical therapy, oral appliances, or surgery. The surgeries include somnoplasty, which is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to reduce the soft tissue in the upper airway, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), maxillary/mandibular advancement surgery, and nasal surgery.
Of all the treatments, mechanical therapy, which is widely known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment option for most with severe OSA. Oral appliances such as nightguards are used for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, while conservative treatment is the best option for mild sleep apnea.
If you want more information on sleep apnea, feel free to contact Harper Dental at (479) 431-0280 any time. Our team looks forward to you so we can help you with sleep apnea or any other dentistry-related problem you might have.