Sleep Apnea dentistry in Vernon Hills
Sleep apnea is a family of sleep disorders in which breathing is disrupted. Most commonly, people experience obstructive sleep apnea, in which airflow become physically obstructed. Often, the airway closes off during sleep due to the weight of relaxed muscles and tissues on the windpipe. This blockage occurs gradually, which is why people with sleep apnea snore very loudly before sound stops.
The body cannot function without oxygen, so when airflow becomes completely blocked and the brain senses it, sleep is roused to prompt breathing. Adrenaline begins pumping, and breathing resumes, but usually only for a short time. Research shows that obstructive sleep apnea can cause hundreds of events in a single night. The problem with sleep apnea is two-fold: the body is consistently deprived of oxygen, and sleep is never deep enough for the body to rejuvenate.
In order for the tissues of the body to repair after the stresses of the day, we need REM sleep. During this phase of sleep, memory processes are working, blood pressure is regulated, and we renew our energy. The effects of lack of sleep are felt after just one night. The longer a person goes without adequate sleep, the worse their mood swings, depression, extreme tiredness, decreased memory, and lack of productivity becomes. Even more concerning are the effects the continual lack of oxygen has on the heart, lungs, and other vital organs.
Getting help for sleep apnea is vitally important to sustained health. The more we know about what to look for, the better we can care for ourselves and those we love who may be at risk of developing this condition. The risk factors that are associated with obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Regular alcohol consumption
- Age, with older adults more prone to the condition
- Gender, with adult men twice as likely to develop sleep apnea as adult women
- Abnormality in the structure of the upper airway
- A neck circumference greater than 17 inches
- Family history of any type of sleep disorder
Recognizing risk factors can enable you to take steps to avoid sleep apnea, and help you realize when a professional is needed to restore health. Dr. Kumar is a Vernon Hills area dentist trained in oral appliance therapy, an effective, comfortable solution to obstructive sleep apnea.
Treating sleep apnea with a custom-fitted oral appliance can change your life. Contact SmileMoreToday to learn more about this approach.