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Dr. Christopher Port

Sleep Apnea

With the sleep apnea diagnosis, your dentist from Hendersonville can develop successful treatment

Several million people around the world are losing sleep every night. Obstructive sleep apnea is not a small problem. Health and wellbeing can be significantly impacted due to the loss of sleep, as well as the persistent lack of oxygen received by the brain. Fortunately, a viable solution to sleep problems can be found at your dentist's office.

What is sleep apnea?

Of the various sleep disorders on record, obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common. This disorder is often thought by those who have it to be a snoring problem because people with sleep apnea tend to snore quite loudly. If you listen closely to the sounds of sleep apnea, however, you will be able to recognize a distinct difference between snoring and this dangerous sleep disorder.

While attempting to rest, the person with obstructive sleep apnea has increasing difficulty breathing. Snoring grows louder and breathing more labored until, at some point, sound ceases. This quiet may be mistaken for free breathing when, in reality, the absence of snoring means that breathing has stopped. Obstructive sleep apnea results from the blockage of airflow. This occurs as the muscles that surround the throat become fully relaxed and close the airway.

In response to the lack of oxygen, the brain will release adrenaline to rouse sleep. Following the sounds of sleep apnea, this disruption will result in a loud gasp or choke, and snoring will shortly resume. These episodes can occur several hundred times in a night, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to close to a minute.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition for which a diagnosis can be difficult. In our office near Hendersonville, we consult with patients on their sleeping habits when they display the symptoms associated with this sleep disorder. We understand that, especially if you sleep alone, it can be difficult to determine what is causing symptoms such as irritability, hyperactivity, or depression. On their own, these symptoms may seem completely random. Coupled with always feeling tired, regardless of how many hours you sleep, they take on new meaning. Your experienced dentist or medical professional can help you make sense of symptoms so that you can obtain the proper treatment.

The dental approach to obstructive sleep apnea is the creation of a custom-fitted oral airway appliance. This treatment has been proven highly successful primarily because patients find it comfortable and will therefore comply with treatment much more so than CPAP.

Asheville Smile Center is committed to excellent dental care. Contact our office to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea, or to schedule your visit.

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