Sleep Apnea

Francys Day, DDS -  - Cosmetic Dentist

Austin Smiles By Day

Francys Day, DDS

Cosmetic Dentist & General Dentist located in Austin, TX

Waking up groggy, unrested, and with a sore throat is a sign that you may suffer from sleep apnea. Francys Day, DDS, at Austin Smiles by Day in Austin, Texas, can create the right sleep apnea treatment plan for you, so you can get back to sleeping through the night without any problems once again. Call Austin Smiles by Day or book an appointment online today to learn more about your treatment options.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes patients to repeatedly stop breathing — often hundreds of times — throughout the night. The condition is generally caused by an obstruction in the back of the throat, typically soft tissue, that collapses while you’re snoring. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep, causing an airway blockage that prevents breathing repeatedly.

Central sleep apnea

Unlike OSA, central sleep apnea is not caused by a blockage. Instead, it occurs when your brain cannot send signals to your muscles to breathe while you sleep. In most cases, central sleep apnea is caused by an underlying condition, such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Cervical spine arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Congestive heart failure

 

Central sleep apnea can also develop if you take certain medications, like morphine, oxycodone, or codeine.

Complex sleep apnea

Complex sleep apnea, also called treatment-emergent sleep apnea, develops in patients that have both OSA and central sleep apnea. The majority of patients that have complex sleep apnea have been diagnosed with OSA in the past before developing central sleep apnea.

Which sleep apnea symptoms should I look out for?

Many patients have no idea they even have sleep apnea until a partner or roommate notices their repeated snoring and bouts of stunted breathing. However, some of the warning signs of sleep apnea in patients include:

  • Very loud snoring
  • Sore throat
  • Morning fatigue
  • Gasping for air throughout the night
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime irritability
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Dry mouth

 

Without proper treatment, sleep apnea tends to worsen and does not disappear on its own, so it’s important to seek medical attention right away if you think you may suffer from the condition.

What are my sleep apnea treatment options?

The treatment Dr. Day recommends depends on the type of sleep apnea you have and how severe your case is. The most popular sleep apnea treatments include:

Dental devices

If you have OSA, there are dental devices Dr. Day can recommend to open up your airway and help you breathe continuously throughout the night. Some devices push your jaw forward to open your airway while others press down your tongue to prevent it from blocking your airway during sleep.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP device is the most effective form of treatment for sleep apnea. It is a treatment in which a mask that you wear over your face is attached to a small, compact machine, which continuously flows oxygen through your airway. With a CPAP device, you simply cannot stop breathing during the night.

Surgery

If you have enlarged tonsils, a deviated septum, or a very small jaw, surgery may be required to stop your sleep apnea symptoms from worsening. Surgery is typically only recommended to patients with an underlying condition that’s causing their sleep apnea.

To learn more about your sleep apnea treatment options, call Austin Smiles by Day or book an appointment online today.