Sleep apnea is discussed so frequently by Chesterfield cosmetic dentist Dr. Charles Janes that his staff now screens each and every patient who visits Innovative Dental of St. Louis for this common and dangerous condition.
If you're in the area of Chesterfield, Missouri and need a dentist who can skillfully evaluate your sleep apnea case and then customize an alternative treatment, please contact Innovative Dental of St. Louis online or dial 636-778-3355 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janes.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the name given to a serious condition characterized by frequent breathing disruptions throughout the night that last anywhere from several seconds to a minute, and that prevent the afflicted from achieving restful, recuperative sleep.
The condition also causes the brain to receive increasingly less oxygen throughout the night.
The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that more than 22 million Americans suffer from this condition, which develops once soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes or collapses, blocking the airway and causing the victim to wake. This cycle of waking and falling back asleep may happen throughout the night up to once per minute.
While mainstream medicine's traditional treatment for sleep apnea involves using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, this treatment is not for every patient.
The good news is that advances in neuromuscular dentistry diagnostics, along with customized therapies, mean that skilled practitioners such as Dr. Janes can now devise individualized sleep apnea therapies.
Who is at Risk?
Cosmetic dentists and other health practitioners agree that most anyone can suffer from sleep apnea. But the disease is more positively correlated with certain traits than others.
Specifically, sleep apnea is often associated with:
- Being overweight.
- Being male. Men are 100 percent more likely to develop sleep apnea than women.
- Family history. Sleep apnea appears to run in the family.
- Being an African-American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander. These ethnicities are associated with higher risks of sleep apnea.
- Being older. Those over the age of 60 are considerably more likely to develop sleep apnea than those younger.
- Smoking. Those who smoke are at elevated risk compared to those who abstain.
Other risk factors include alcohol use, chronic nasal congestion, and a having naturally narrow airway.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea may present with a wide range of symptoms, the most common of which is loud snoring. This is because the tissues of the throat vibrate when they collapse and make noise, much like the reed of a woodwind instrument.
Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime sleepiness and chronic fatigue
- Nighttime insomnia
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause such health complications as high blood pressure, diabetes, and liver problems. If you suspect you may have Sleep Apnea, take the sleep apnea screening test.
Sleep apnea is, however, treatable. An experienced neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Janes who is well-versed in the mechanics of the face and jaw, can treat sleep apnea with a simple oral appliance worn at night while you sleep.
If you're in the area of Chesterfield and need a cosmetic dentist who can evaluate your sleep apnea case and suggest an alternative treatment, please contact Innovative Dental of St. Louis online or dial 636-778-3355.