Sleep Apnea Treatment
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects an estimated 18 million adults and children in the United States alone. A good night’s sleep is one of the single most important requirements to live a healthy lifestyle. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your overall health, impacting your memory, concentration, and mood. People who suffer from sleep apnea experience repeated breathing interruptions as they sleep. Sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for short amounts of time. The starts and stops can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. The negative effect is interrupted REM & decreased oxygen saturation, where you are effectively not reseated & suffocating all your vital organs, making their function less & your eventual decline in health inevitable.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Being able to breathe properly while asleep helps to ensure a night of full rest, but many people have some sort of trouble breathing while asleep, such as snoring & mouth breathing. While snoring can be attributed to several different factors, such as obesity, allergies, congestion, or a family medical history, it could also be a sign of sleep apnea.
Everyone feels better after a good night’s rest. Sleep not only feels good, but it boosts your mental performance and overall health. A lack of sleep can hinder your thinking, negatively impact your work, sabotage your relationships, and lead to mood problems, such as anger and depression. Sleep apnea is a chronic and progressive health problem that will potentially worsen over time.
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE SLEEP APNEA
While you will definitely want to seek a formal diagnosis for your sleep apnea, there are a few signs you can look out for at home:
- Loud snoring
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Early morning headaches
- Extreme tiredness throughout the daytime - even after sleeping a full night
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- Insomnia - or otherwise restless sleep
- Increased urination at night
Should you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it is recommended that you seek treatment as soon as possible.
IF LEFT UNTREATED, IT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS LONG TERM HEALTH ISSUES AND PUT YOU AT RISK FOR:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea treatment
WHAT CAN DR. DEMKO DO TO HELP TREAT SLEEP APNEA?
Dr. Demko is skilled in identifying and treating sleep-related breathing disorders in patients of all ages due to her training and expertise in facial growth and development. Though not all, many Orthodontists do so much more than straighten teeth. Dr. Demko is also an expert in the structures of the mouth, face, jaw and in dentofacial orthopedics, which is using appliances to guide facial growth and development. Since orthodontists routinely work with dental appliances and manage jaw positions more than any other dental professional, it makes them an obvious choice when it comes to correcting sleep abnormalities.
Orthodontists, because of their daily practice focus, are the most appropriate dental professionals to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea, snoring, or CPAP intolerant patients who need to be treated through these oral appliances.
RISK FACTORS FOR SLEEP APNEA
There are four main risk factors that seem to be highly linked to sleep apnea, such as:
- Age: Developing sleep apnea increases with age (until they reach age 60 and up)
- Sex: Males tend to be more likely to be diagnosed
- Body weight: A higher BMI is linked to a higher risk
- Head and neck development: Those with a larger tongue or shorter (and/or lower) jaw are more likely to develop sleep apnea
A few additional factors seem to be linked to an increased risk for sleep apnea. These include:
- Sleep position - back sleepers seem to be more susceptible
- Nasal congestion or difficulty breathing
- Alcohol use
- Hormone abnormalities, including hypothyroidism
- Family history
Are You or Your Child Having Trouble Sleeping?
However, when the cause of poor sleep is a breathing disorder, like excessive snoring or sleep apnea, the medical implications can lead to life threatening illnesses.
While medications exist to treat sleep disorders, a person can easily become dependent. At Demko Orthodontics, our belief is that the root cause of your sleep disorder must be fixed rather than medicated. We want to facilitate living long healthy lives. Our Sleep Coordinator will guide you through every step, working closely with Dr. Demko, ENTs, and local sleep clinics to ensure every patient is informed of all their options, understands their treatment and insurance options, and gets timely and meaningful results.
Treatment plans can depend on the type, severity, and causes of the condition. There are a few different orthodontic strategies that can help, including:
Demko Orthodontics provides sleep apnea treatment in three convenient locations — Chesterfield, St. Charles and Washington, Missouri.
At Demko Orthodontics, our staff has the knowledge and experience to identify the signs of sleep apnea in patients of all ages. If you or your child may be suffering from sleep apnea, please give us a call at 314-576-4955 for a complimentary consultation to start your journey to a healthier, more comfortable life.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
Can you have obstructive sleep apnea if you’re not overweight?
Yes, you can. Many people are under the false assumption that only overweight people can have sleep apnea, but that’s simply not true.
Does everyone who snores have sleep apnea?
No, not everyone who snores will have sleep apnea but it is a sign of the condition. Some individuals snore due to partially obstructed airways, but they don’t have breathing cessation which is necessary for sleep apnea.
Why should I see an orthodontist for sleep apnea?
Orthodontists work with dental appliances and they know how to manage jaw positions to increase airflow. This, in turn, can correct sleep issues like obstructive sleep apnea.