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Sleep Like Your Life Depends On It

Did you know that the only time the body is able to truly heal and repair itself is during sleep? You probably understand the importance of a good night’s sleep to a certain extent, but you may not know just how vital healthy sleep is. You may not know that chronic snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, which can drastically reduce your quality of life and increase your risk of developing serious health problems, and can even be deadly. The good news is, Dr. Robinson at Blue Sky Smiles has a simple solution.

What is sleep apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea, which is a combination of the two. With central sleep apnea, the brain is unable to send the proper signals to tell the body to breathe during sleep. Central sleep apnea requires treatment from a medical doctor, sleep specialist, or neurologist.

Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common and occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, preventing you from breathing properly through the night. Your airway is literally obstructed, causing chronic snoring, choking or gasping for air, and a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Sleep apnea creates low blood oxygen levels and prevents restful sleep night after night, causing a slow downward spiral of the immune system and increasing your risk for serious systemic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Thankfully, your Saginaw dentist can provide a simple, affordable solution – no CPAP necessary.

Health Consequences

Sleep apnea results in low blood oxygen levels, increasing your risk for serious health problems and a slow deterioration of the immune system.

  • Heart Disease: 23 times more likely to have a heart attack
  • Brain: 3 times more likely to have a stroke
  • Weight Gain & Obesity: Hormonal changes influence overeating
  • Diabetes: Causes insulin resistance and 3 times more likely to develop diabetes
  • Auto Accidents: Greater risk for falling asleep or tired, inattentive driving
  • Teeth: Nighttime grinding causes excessive wear, prone to fracture and breakage
  • TMJ: Nighttime grinding causes breakdown in the jaw joint

Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most common signs, symptoms, and characteristics of sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Sleeping and breathing disruptions
  • Frequent urination
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Depression and anxiety

Risk Factors

There are certain demographics that are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea and certain lifestyle habits that contribute to the problem.

  • Males over age 40
  • Overweight or large neck
  • Use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking or tobacco
  • Nasal congestion
  • Narrow airway
  • Family history
  • Spicy foods

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Traditionally, the “gold standard” for sleep apnea has been and continues to be the CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and is essentially a machine that pushes air in and out of your lungs for you. While CPAP machines are highly effective when worn properly, most people find them too invasive to sleep comfortably with. You have to wear a face mask connected to a tube, connected to a machine, connected to an electrical outlet. Talk about a nightmare.

Thankfully, your Saginaw dentist has a better solution with oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy uses a small oral appliance, similar to a fancy mouthguard that you wear during sleep. The device is custom designed to fit your mouth and individual needs to gently shift the lower jaw forward. This mild adjustment of the position of the lower jaw is enough to prevent the airway from collapsing, allowing you to breathe comfortably throughout the night.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy vs. CPAP Machine

  • No electrical outlet required
  • No loud, bulky machine
  • No invasive face mask
  • Device is small and discreet
  • Simple and affordable
  • Easy to travel with
  • Highly effective
  • Comfortable to wear

Take the First Step

Schedule a consultation today!

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*Dr. Robinson is a general dentist providing orthodontic services.

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