Sleep Apnea at Hillside Dental, Los Angeles
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When we snore, our airflow is somewhat blocked. This could be from congestion, a structural abnormality, or the relaxation of muscles around the throat. Obstructive sleep apnea goes a step further, occurring when airflow is completely blocked and breathing actually stops for a period of time, as muscle relaxation leads to the complete closure of the airway. Episodes where breathing ceases may occur a few hundred times in a night, and they can last anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute.
As breathing stops in an apneic episode, the brain does not receive the oxygen it needs. Signals are sent to rouse sleep, prompting the onset of breathing. This disruption in sleep is typically light, rarely causing a full waking to occur. Hence, the person with sleep apnea has a hard time realizing just what is happening while he or she sleeps.
There are signs that may indicate sleep apnea is a problem. Those suffering from this condition may experience:
- Chronic, noisy snoring that wakes others.
- Breathing stops during sleep, resuming with loud gasps or choking sounds.
- Chronic morning headaches or sore throat, due to mouth breathing.
- Waking frequently to drink water or to use the restroom.
- Extreme daytime sleepiness.
- Microsleeps, where dozing occurs at your desk, at stoplights, or while you relax at home.
- Loss of concentration, retention abilities, and productivity.
- Moodiness, irritability, and mood swings.
Hillside Dental offers a non-invasive, comfortable approach to treating sleep apnea. Our oral airway appliance is custom designed to facilitate your optimal jaw positioning while you sleep, allowing air to flow freely as it should.
Sleep is an important factor in our health. Let us help you get the sleep you need by treating sleep apnea appropriately.
Contact us today for your sleep apnea evaluation.