Asheville, NC dental care services can address obstructive sleep apnea
Asheville Smile Center has been established as a family-friendly practice where your changing dental needs can be managed. Our experienced team understands that you or a loved one may face concerns that extend beyond cavities or a broken tooth. We have the necessary skills to treat less common issues including TMJ disorder and obstructive sleep apnea, making the treatments you need more accessible when you need them.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Millions of Americans have what they would describe as a snoring problem. However, data suggests that it may really be a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. This condition does involve loud snoring as well as moments of silence. Often, these pauses will be followed by a loud snort or gasping sound.
Obstructive sleep apnea differs from snoring in these pauses. When snoring stops, it is an indication that no air is passing through the airway. When the brain does not receive oxygen, it sends a signal to the body to produce adrenaline, which increases the heart rate and rouses sleep slightly. The affected person may not fully wake, but this physical reaction will prompt breathing. A person with obstructive sleep apnea may stop breathing several hundred times a night.
Treating obstructive sleep apnea
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is vital. The chemical reaction that releases adrenaline into the body creates ongoing stress during a time restorative sleep should be occurring. During waking hours, many sleep apnea patients report s depression or anxiety, difficulty focusing or maintaining work productivity. Some people experience "micro-sleeps," during which they fall asleep at their desk or at a stop-light.
The standard medical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is to force the airway open with air pressure from a small machine and a mask that fits over the nose and mouth. While effective, this design lacks the degree of comfort patients need to remain compliant with their treatment.
At Asheville Smile Center in Arden, NC, patients will find that a small, unobtrusive oral appliance may be the key to improved sleep. The oral appliance for sleep apnea looks like a common mouth guard. This guard positions the tongue and the jaw in a way that keeps the airway open.
For dental care services that improve your oral health and wellbeing, call (828) 585-4049.