Welcome to another June edition of the Oregon City Family Dentistry blog!
If you live in the area, we’d love to see your smiling face sometime this summer. Just so you know, we are conveniently located on Monroe Street near the Willamette River and we are open five days a week. Once entrusted to our care, you will quickly see that we do a lot more around here than just cleaning teeth.
In fact, today’s topic is something we treat all the time. It might make you miss sleep, or at least you’ll feel like you did the next day. We are talking about sleep apnea, a serious condition that impacts millions of Americans each year.
Know The Signs
How will you know that you are dealing with sleep apnea issues? Here are some clues: you are told that you snore like a freight train; you are perpetually wiped out and can’t ever seem to get enough sleep; you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath; you wake up with a bad headache; you wake up with a sore or dry throat; you are irritable at work and at play.
If that sounds like you, it is essential that you seek a diagnosis and, of course, treatment for sleep apnea ASAP.
If left undiagnosed or untreated, this condition can trigger a stroke, bring about heart disease, and cause you to exhibit reckless behavior. The latter is as the result of deep-sleep deprivation.
Sleep Apnea Is Serious Business
Here’s the breakdown: Central Sleep Apnea Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disorder are the two main ways in which the condition manifests itself.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the one we see the most of. It happens when your throat muscles relax to the point that they obstruct your airways. This leads to extended breaks in night-time breathing and typically forces you to suddenly wake up struggling for air.
Because your brain is busy all night keeping you alive, when you wake up in the morning, you won’t feel rested at all! This is not a sustainable model by any means.
But there is some good news: obstructed sleep apnea is something that we are able to treat effectively. There are several strategies we can use to restore some sanity to your life.
Machines Vs. Changes In Lifestyle
There is a machine known as CPAP that is invasive and uncomfortable, but is commonly prescribed for addressing folks with sleep apnea. It can help some people, the trouble for most is that it is hard to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are other options that don’t involve the CPAP method.
To be honest, we always suggest self-corrective strategies initially. Dropping those extra pounds, changing your normal sleeping position, and giving up alcohol and tobacco can vastly improve your sleep apnea troubles. Trust us, it will be worth it. Just so you know, we are dedicated to helping you improve the health of your mouth and body by offering tobacco cessation and nutritional counseling programs through our office.
Still, simple adjustments may not be enough to alleviate your sleeping woes without the help of an oral appliance. And some factors just can’t be changed! These include: having a larger neck size than 17 inches, propensity for acid reflux, and enlarged tonsils or tongue.
If need be, we can set you up with a sleep apnea appliance that pulls the lower jaw forward to open up the airways during sleep and restricts the tongue from blocking the airways.
This will help with the snoring and allow you to finally sleep peacefully. By eliminating your sleep apnea, once and for all, you’ll feel better-rested in the morning and more “with it” throughout the day and evening.
Take Back Your Life!
To diagnose and treat your snoring and sleep apnea, contact us online or call us today at 503-917-0523. Your friends here at Oregon City Family Dentistry will help you get some good rest!
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