The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you’re getting the minimum recommended amount of shut-eye, but you wake up exhausted, then it might be obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, you don’t have to live with this debilitating sleep disorder. Sacramento sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz, specializes in sleep medicine. As an Academy of Clinical Sleep Disciplines board-certified sleep dentist, Dr. Mickiewicz offers effective solutions to help you manage your sleep apnea.
Here, we’ll address the common signs and symptoms of (and the risk factors and treatments for!) sleep apnea. So, stay tuned, because diagnosing and treating an OSA with Dr. Mickiewicz could change your life for the better!
What is OSA?
Occurring in nearly 25% of men and almost 10% of women, OSA is one of the most common sleep disorders. OSA is a condition in which breathing ceases for several seconds (and sometimes over a minute!) multiple times a night.
When we stop breathing in our sleep, the lack of oxygen prompts our brains to wake our bodies up. If this happens, then our sleep cycle gets interrupted. In turn, we can’t achieve the deep sleep our bodies need to refuel and restore.
Signs and Symptoms of OSA
There are many signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, such as:
- Loud snoring
- Headaches upon waking
- Excessive drowsiness during the day
- Choking or snorting while sleeping
- Never feeling rested, even after naps
- Chronic hypertension
However, an appointment with a qualified sleep doctor or dentist is needed to confirm OSA. By conducting physical exams, overnight sleep studies, or home sleep tests, they can definitively determine if you’re suffering from a sleep disorder.
Risk Factors and Causes of OSA
OSA can occur for a number of reasons, such as:
- Age: As we age, the muscle tone in our throat decreases, which causes weakness. This weakness creates an obstruction in the airway, resulting in snoring and sleep apnea.
- Genetic Predisposition: Narrower throats or larger tongues are genetic features that put some people at risk for developing OSA.
- Smoking: Cigarettes and other tobacco products irritate the throat, esophagus, and pulmonary system. This irritation causes inflammation that can then obstruct the airway and result in OSA.
- Weight: Fatty tissue around the throat can restrict airflow to the lungs. Restriction to the airway causes snoring and, subsequently, OSA.
Treatment Options for OSA
As a dentist who specializes in sleep dentistry, Dr. Mickiewicz recommends treating OSA with an oral appliance. These tailor-made appliances–also referred to as mandibular advancement devices (MAD)–are a comfortable and minimally-invasive sleep solution.
The MAD supports the jaw by moving it into a more suitable position to keep the airway open. With the airway open, snoring decreases and sleep improves. So, you can finally get a peaceful night’s sleep, and wake up well-rested and revitalized!
Sleep Medicine in California
Do you think you’re living with a sleep disorder? Restore your sleep and improve your life with a custom-made oral appliance. Schedule an OSA consultation with our Sacramento sleep apnea dentist by calling (916) 469-9178 or booking it online.