Sleep disorders are among the major public health concerns in the United States. The quality of sleep people get affects the quality of life and overall health. According to an estimate from CDC, about 50-70 million adults in the country suffer from sleep related problems. Sleep apnea is most frequently notable among adults who have sleep related issues. This disorder can be potentially life threatening since it affects the heart and causes severe daytime drowsiness. Dr. Vijay Patel is one of the trained dental professionals in Montclair, CA who diagnoses and treats sleep apnea. If you or your bedtime partner snores loudly or has issues getting a sound sleep, make an appointment and meet our dentist. Our dental care may help you improve your overall health and quality of life.
Sleep apnea is a condition which causes shallow breathing when the patient is asleep. There are two types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where soft tissues at the back of the throat of the patient relax and block the airway during sleep. This reduces blood oxygen level in the body. The brain senses the deficiency and in-turn sends signals to the body to wake up to open up the airway. The breathing pause during airway blockage may last for few seconds to few minutes. The cycle of airway blockage and opening can occur several times in an hour causing improper sleep. The person may have severe headache when he/she wakes up. Central sleep apnea is a condition where the brain of a person fails to send signals to muscles that enable breathing. This causes breathing abnormalities.
As a result of variation in blood oxygen levels, the heart of the patient is under stress. When oxygen level in the body collapses the heart is forced to pump blood at a faster rate. This can cause changes in blood pressure levels as well. Following are some of the serious health issues and life-threatening problems that can arise from sleep apnea.
At our dental office patients' concerns are addressed through quality dental care. Diagnosing sleep apnea may be challenging since the characteristics of the disorder are visible only when the patient is asleep. Usually the bedtime partners of the patient help our team in diagnosing the problem. Other symptoms can be headache, drowsiness during the day, difficulty remembering things, fatigue etc. Once our dentist identifies the problem, the treatment is recommended based on the severity of the disorder.
There are specially designed oral appliances which can help patients keep the airway open by moving the jaw slightly forward. The appliances should be worn by the patient during sleep. Equipment like CPAP which delivers air through the airway of patient enable comfortable breathing. A surgery may be needed for some serious cases.