Posted on June 30, 2017 · Posted in News & Blog

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing while sleeping. This condition effects over 18 million Americans, and if left untreated, can cause serious health issues. This includes an increased risk of cardiac issues, diabetes, depression, and other serious conditions.

There are two forms of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when the muscles responsible for respiratory function do not receive a proper signal from the brain during sleep. However, the more common obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back fo the throat collapse during sleep – creating an obstruction. According to the American Dental Association, this usually occurs when:

  • Patients are age 40+
  • Patients are overweight
  • Patients suffer from large tonsils, large tongue or small jaw
  • Patients that have a family history of sleep apnea
  • Patients with nasal issues such as a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

Patients who suspect they may have sleep apnea often feel tired after a night’s rest and experience snoring. The first path towards seeking treatment would be to undergo a sleep study. This can confirm if you are indeed suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

Once confirmed, treatment options include CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine therapy, dental appliances that are designed to shift and support the jaw structure (preventing the airway from closing), adjusting your sleeping habits, and in severe cases, surgical intervention.

If you would like to explore dental appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea, Dr. Irwin would be more than happy to go over all of the available options. As always our supportive staff is here to answer any questions you may have. To schedule an appointment, please call 973-667-1567.

About the Author

Brighter Smiles Dental is the practice of Dr. Sylvia Irwin. For over 31 years, Dr. Irwin and her staff have been providing patients with expert dental care in a calm and relaxing setting. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call our Nutley, New Jersey dental office at: 973.667.1567.