Serving Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle
Are you always tired, no matter how long you sleep? Does your family complain about your loud snoring? If the answer to either question is yes, then you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a serious sleep breathing disorder that occurs when your airway becomes blocked during sleep. If your case of sleep apnea is advanced, you could experience these blockages hundreds of times per night—each time, disrupting your sleep cycle and your breathing.
Here are some common questions about sleep apnea.
Is treatment for sleep apnea really necessary?
Yes. Sleep apnea will not just go away. Furthermore, an untreated case of sleep apnea significantly increases your risk factor for an assortment of chronic and even life-threatening health issues, including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac disease
- Memory problems
- Poor oral health
What causes sleep apnea?
Having a small airway due to the shape of your head and neck, or as a result of regularly breathing through the mouth can make it more likely you develop sleep apnea. If the lower jaw is positioned too far back during sleep, it can cause the soft tissues of the throat and airway to collapse, which results in snoring and restricts airflow. A large tongue, tonsils or other soft tissue in the throat or airway also can cause sleep-breathing disorders.
Currently, more than 15 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea. Men are more likely to develop the disorder than women.
Your risk factor for sleep apnea can increase if you are obese or have high blood pressure. Some medical research even suggests a hereditary link in sleep apnea patients.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
A sleep apnea dentist has special training and experience to diagnose and treat a sleep breathing disorder, including sleep apnea. Dr. Clinton L. Esler is a sleep apnea dentist. He can perform a diagnostic evaluation of your airway to determine any potential issues, which, in combination with a sleep study, will detect if you suffer from sleep apnea, and then develop an individualized treatment plan.
How does The Esler Dental Group treat sleep apnea?
We believe that oral appliance therapy is the best method to treat a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea. This oral appliance may look like an anti-snoring mouthpiece or bite guard, but it serves to keep an open airway during sleep. Sleep apnea patients tend to prefer appliance therapy to using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, citing appliance therapy as being cheaper, more convenient, and less invasive.
To learn more about how we diagnose or treat sleep apnea, contact our office by calling (806) 358-8021 to schedule a consultation.
The Esler Dental Group is proud to serve patients in Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.