Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep-Apnea-ashwood-dental-venturaSleep Apnea is a serious health condition most easily described as disruptions in regular breathing during sleep. Apneas, or complete pauses in breathing, may range from just seconds to a few minutes. Hypoapneas are periods of shallow breathing that also interrupt regular breathing patterns. There are two types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea (C.N.A) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (O.S.A). C.N.A is caused by a failure of the brain to send signals to inhale and exhale. O.S.A is more common than C.N.A and affects 20% of the adult population in the United States. O.S.A is caused by a physical obstruction of airflow in and out of the body. During sleep, the position of the head and jaw may cause the soft mouth and throat muscles to collapse in relaxation or cause the tongue to fall back into the throat blocking the upper airway.

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Sleep-Apnea-ashwood-dental-ventura-2Both C.N.A and O.S.A can cause severe health problems such as damage to the brain due to lack of oxygen and an enlarged heart due to it being overworked. Sleep apnea is also directly related to high blood pressure, stroke, acidic damage to the esophagus, obesity, and depression. The consequences of allowing O.S.A. to go untreated are serious and can exacerbate any preexisting health problems as well as cause many new systemic health concerns.

How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea can be diagnosed by symptoms such as unintentionally falling asleep during the day, fatigue, insomnia, waking from gasping for breath, and loud snoring. A person may not notice symptoms themselves but more often his or her partner may mention frequent snoring or choking sounds. In the past, sleep studies were required to be done in a sleep center or hospital. Today, sleep studies are quick and painless and conducted in the comfort of your own home.

We are here to help!

snoring applianceIf you believe you suffer from sleep apnea, Dr. Sargissian can perform a screening specifically looking for signs of O.S.A. After the exam a home sleep test is performed to track breathing during the night. The testing devices are mailed straight to your door, and then mailed to a study lab once completed. Board Certified Medical Doctors review and analyze your test results to determine your levels of sleep apnea. Following review, Dr. Sargissian will discuss all possible treatment plans with you and answer any questions you have regarding your options. Ashwood Dental provides Oral Appliance Therapy which is a small comfortable mouth guard worn at night. This custom mouthpiece moves the jaw and tongue into a position that allows proper airflow during sleep. In many cases Oral Appliance Therapy has been shown to greatly reduce or completely eliminate snoring.