A good night’s sleep is crucial for us to function. Dr. Craig Winkelmann and his highly trained staff at Wake Forest Dental Arts want to help all his patients achieve a great night’s sleep by treating sleep apnea with an oral appliance.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are three types of sleep apnea, of which the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA occurs when the throat muscles and soft tissue at the back of the throat collapse and block the air passage. The second type of sleep apnea is is called Central sleep apnea. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right neural signal to the muscles that control a person’s breathing, thus causing a cessation of breathing. The third form of sleep apnea, Mixed Sleep Apnea, is a combination condition where the brain actually wakes the patient to signal breathing- patients with this form of sleep apnea often sleep poorly and infrequently.
All three forms of sleep apnea share common symptoms such as:
- Loud snoring
- Excessive drowsiness during the day
- Sudden awakening and shortness of breath (more common in central sleep apnea)
- Periods of breathing cessation during sleep – often witnessed by another
- Problems with focus/paying attention.
More in-depth study of sleep apnea has revealed certain risk factors like weight gain and obesity. In fact, the rise in sleep apnea diagnoses and treatment have been directly linked with the rise in obesity within the United States over the past decades. Studies have also indicated a correlation between sleep apnea and poor lifestyle habits. By treating sleep apnea, Dr. Winkelmann offers his Wake Forest patients a chance to live a much healthier life.
Serious Condition Sleep Apnea is linked to:
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Liver problems
- Vascular Diseases
- Congested Heart Failure
- Complications while under general anesthesia
Treating Sleep Apnea in Wake Forest
Research has shown that oral appliances like night guards are highly effective in providing relief by altering the position of the jaw or tongue to keep the airway open during sleep. Dr. Winkelmann always encourages patients to try using a CPAP first as it is still regarded as the gold standard in treating sleep apnea, but if you have tried the CPAP and find it intolerable, we can help. Oral appliances designed for sleep apnea patients can change your life.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a Medical Doctor and you would like to explore sleep apnea solutions, contact our Wake Forest Dental Arts office today!