Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea that patients often suffer from:
- Obstructive sleep apnea – patients typically experience this form of apnea when their throat muscles relax while sleeping
- Central sleep apnea – this form of apnea is occurring when the body’s brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that assist with breathing
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome – the most emergent sleep apnea of all forms is when obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea come together, creating additional risk to the patient.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are several signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. The most common signs of obstructive and central sleep apnea include:
- Tiredness or drowsiness, and a noticeably lower quality of sleep than usual
- Dry or sore mouth in the mornings
- Breathing that is disrupted during sleep
- Frequent waking during the night (especially with the need to urinate)
- Headaches in the morning
- Gasping or loud snores (in many cases, snoring is not a symptom)
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
There are many ways a person can develop sleep apnea. First, your anatomy can make you particularly prone to developing the condition. For example, your jaw or tonsil placement can make you prone to blocked airways while you sleep or simply how your entire respiratory system functions in general.
However, obesity is the leading cause of sleep apnea. Obesity narrows a patient’s airways and can make it much more difficult to breathe. This difficulty is compounded during sleep, where patients are not always in control of their movements or position. Apart from obesity, excessive drinking or smoking can make a patient much more likely to develop sleep apnea.
In many cases, sleep apnea may be connected to an underlying medical condition. For example, if you have suffered a stroke or heart attack, you may be more likely to experience sleep apnea. Our team is dedicated to helping determine the cause of your sleep apnea, as this allows us to provide you with the best treatment options possible.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many patients don’t realize that dentists deal with sleep apnea treatment all the time. If you know that you suffer from sleep apnea or have obstructed breathing while you sleep, the first step is to see an experienced dentist like Dr. Kwiatkowski.
At our dental office in Grafton, we have several ways of not only treating sleep apnea but understanding the underlying cause. We believe in treating the problem, not just symptoms.
We give our patients a mouthpiece that holds their jaw or tongue in place. This opens your airways and prevents them from closing while you sleep. For other patients, we may also recommend a breathing machine. In addition, we monitor our patients’ blood pressure and screen for underlying conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. Seeing a dentist every six months for a routine cleaning can help prevent other health conditions, not just cavities.
If you require additional treatment options, outside of the services we offer, our dentists work with local medical professionals who can assist you in getting your sleep and a restful night back on track.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Grafton
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you aren’t alone. Getting back to your normal self starts with better sleep habits, and better sleep habits start with treating your sleep apnea. With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Kwiatkowski is dedicated to helping his patients live longer and fuller lives. If you struggle with sleep apnea, contact our office directly at 262-377-0852.