Tag Archives: sleep apnea

How Would You Know if You Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

sleep-apnea

Do You Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

How Would You Know and What Can You Do?

Sleep apnea affects many people. It is a condition marked by the continual cessation of breathing while sleeping. This interruption in a person’s breathing is often caused by the obstruction of the upper airway, known as obstructive sleep apnea. It is also caused by central sleep apnea, which is the brain’s inability to signal muscles to continue breathing while you rest.

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a severe sleeping disorder that if left ignored, can result in sudden cardiac death.

Sleep is crucial to your well being, and you will notice adverse impacts to your health if sleep apnea continues. If you believe you are dealing with this disorder and wish to discover more information about it, then keep reading to learn symptoms and treatments.

What Are the Symptoms and Health Concerns of Sleep Apnea?

As you rest, your body becomes less tense because your muscles relax. Sleep is the time when your body heals and repairs itself to prepare you for the following day. However, sleeping for some can be problematic especially for those with sleep apnea, as it limits their ability to rest and restore their bodies properly.

Primary symptoms of the disorder are irregular breathing, excessive snoring, and occasional breaks or pauses in breathing, which occur due to the complete relaxation of the throat muscles or airway blockage. Other symptoms may include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Depression
  • Chronic headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

If these symptoms are left dismissed, and sleep apnea persists, heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, death, and other serious health issues can result.

What Can I Do to Cure Sleep Apnea?

There are treatments available to combat the difficulties of sleep apnea. One of the most common forms is the CPAP mask. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine is used to deliver continuous air pressure to the throat, eliminating the blockage of breath that results when the throat collapses. This apparatus has proven to be beneficial for many sufferers of sleep apnea.

An alternative to the CPAP mask is the use of a mouth guard, which closely resembles a sports mouth guard. A Mandibular Advancement Device, or a MAD mouthguard, is designed to realign the jaw. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, this device aids in preventing any obstruction of airflow. It provides better sleep and limits symptoms of loud snoring, wheezing, cessation of breathing, and other factors that impede a successful night’s rest.

GPS Dental Can Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

At GPS Dental, our professionals are fully trained and equipped to help patients suffering from sleep apnea. Dr. Gary Skrobanek is a member of the San Antonio District Dental Society, Texas Dental Association, and American Dental Association. Dr. Skrobanek also has a membership with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, a society that studies dental therapies for sleep disturbances. With this level of expertise in sleep disorders, GPS Dental is prepared to treat all cases of sleep apnea. If you’d like to book an appointment or gain more insight into this condition, contact us.

Read more about Gary P. Skrobanek, DDS.

Read more sleep apnea blogs by GPS Dental.

 

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Signs of Sleep Apnea: The Bedtime Battle!

signs-of-sleep-apnea

With long hours spent at work, and the sometimes-grueling daily grind in today’s workforce, it’s easy to see why bedtime is such a welcomed time of day for many people.  However, signs of sleep apnea can cause constant interruptions in one’s rest that can quickly turn this time of relaxation into an exhausting, nightly battle for sleep! Certainly, such a scenario sounds like a nightmare; however, for those suffering from sleep apnea, this nightmare is an unfortunate reality as those afflicted must endure this bedtime battle on a regular basis!

 

The Signs of Sleep Apnea

Although still somewhat unfamiliar to the general populace (and often unknown to non-sufferers) sleep apnea is actually a relatively common sleep disorder that affects approximately 3.6 million people in the U.S. today. Signs of sleep apnea are frequently indicated by:

  • explicitly loud snoring and/or breathing
  • simultaneously experiencing progressively shallow wheezing
  • irregular breathing
  • frequent lapses in breathing patterns during sleep

Related Article: 10 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

Due to this, the signs of sleep apnea are frequently characterized incorrectly as simply a nuisance; a nuisance generally experienced by the sleeping partner of the sufferer rather than the sufferer themselves.

Unfortunately, the issues associated with sleep apnea run much deeper than that, as it is a chronic disorder that can develop into a serious health concern with far-reaching complications. Such symptoms, issues and signs of sleep apnea may include the development or worsening of conditions such as:

  • chronic headaches
  • heightened blood pressure
  • depression
  • chronic fatigue
  • complications during pregnancy

It may even be indicative of other serious underlying health issues such as diabetes, neurological illness, mental illness, or heart disease.

While sleep apnea can certainly be a problematic disorder if left unchecked or improperly treated, fortunately thanks to combined effort from both professional dentistry as well the general and specialized fields of orthodontic and respiratory therapy research, signs of sleep apnea can be identified and treated in several ways. Although the overall success in treating sleep apnea remains relatively high, the rate of success depends heavily on finding the exact cause of the disorder, and therefore select the appropriate method of treatment.

 

Types & Triggers: What Causing Your Sleep Apnea?

While usually following a similar pattern, identifying and classifying your specific type of sleep apnea is indeed a crucial part of resolving the disorder, as sleep apnea can have multiple causes, and can manifest itself in several different variations.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Unquestionably, the most common variation of the disorder is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and as its name implies, indicates an obstruction or blockage within the sufferer’s airway. This occurs as result of muscle relaxation causing the tongue to inadvertently cover and block off the airway, thereby hindering the flow of air.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea is another distinct (but much less common) variation of sleep apnea, which is triggered from a highly different source altogether. Contrasting heavily to the before-mentioned obstructive sleep apnea, Central Sleep Apnea originates within the brain stem of the afflicted individual, and directly affects the central nervous system’s ability to transmit signals throughout the body.

With the central nervous system compromised, both voluntary and involuntary muscle movement becomes increasingly restricted, therefore causing interruptions in involuntary actions such as breathing. This can be particularly problematic during sleep, as the suffer may repeatedly experience abrupt awakenings while attempting to rest, as a natural reaction to the sudden lack of oxygen.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Certainly, both aforementioned types of sleep apnea can present a whole slew of problems in terms of one’s physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately for a certain number of sleep apnea suffers, the disorder can even evolve into a compound issue, in which they develop what’s known as Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome, (or perhaps more appropriately referred to as Mixed Sleep Apnea) is the simultaneous manifestation of both Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea. Obviously, this is considered to be the most severe variation of sleep apnea, and while cases of Complex Sleep Apnea are exceptionally rare, it can occur if sleep apnea is improperly treated, or by interference of additional health issues or outside circumstances.

 

Mask or Mouth Guard? Finding the Right Solution for You

Sleep Apnea Solution: CPAP Mask

To combat and alleviate the various issues caused by sleep apnea, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, (better known as the “CPAP Mask”) was developed during the early 1980s. Being the only device of its kind at the time, the CPAP mask has been widely successful since its inception and continues to be the most commonly used therapy when treating the disorder.

Despite its undeniable success, the CPAP mask is not without its flaws as the cumbersome and somewhat awkward facial apparatus has been known to cause varying degrees of discomfort, thus leading to a less then desirable or even intolerable experience among some users.

Sleep Apnea Solution: Mouth Guard

Therefore, to accommodate those with this issue, and provide sleep apnea sufferers with an alternative treatment method, the dental industry has introduced a new type of mouth guard to be used to manage the affliction.

While historically a mouthguard is best known for being an essential piece of equipment for athletes in various sports; however, more recently they have become known serving another important purpose. This purpose, (of course) is providing an alternative method in the ever-consistent battle against sleep apnea.

Used primarily in treating the much more common Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD mouthguard as its often called) is a night-time mouth guard that at first glance, resembles a standard sports mouth guard in general appearance. However, unlike the sports mouth-guard, the unique MAD mouth guard is designed to shift forward and re-position your jaw, thus preventing the tongue (or anything else) from obstructing and blocking airflow. This not only reduces the signs of sleep apnea, including excessive snoring and wheezing during sleep, but also allows the sufferer to experience a much deeper and uninterrupted nightly rest, thus significantly improving the health and overall well being of the individual!

Related Article: Get Some Sleep: Custom Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea

 

Surviving Sleep Apnea: You CAN Do It! We CAN Help!

At GPS Dental, we have helped many patients suffering from sleep apnea for a several years now and look to continue doing so as the annual number of sleep apnea suffers within the U.S. continues to remain largely stagnant.

As human beings, we are an active, intelligent, and highly successful species; however, when robbed of the necessary amount of sleep, our bodies’ natural ability to function is severely hindered. Simply put, you NEED your sleep, and with an ongoing issue like sleep apnea, getting a good nights sleep can be almost impossible!

If this sounds like you, come see us here at GPS Dental as by visiting our offices, Dr. Skrobanek can assess your sleep apnea and determine if the MAD appliance is right for you!

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio

 

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is an expert in sleep apnea and would like to discuss your signs of sleep apnea at your consultation or dental appointment. His experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dentistry and gentle family dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Wake UP, Gary!! Go Put in Your Mouthguard!!

mouthguard Have you ever had a night like that? Your dream turns into an unsettling adventure on a freight train. Only to be jolted awake and realize that it’s your husband snoring and the sound of the freight train is their snoring? Maybe he needs a mouthguard!

The reality of the situation is that HE isn’t getting a good night sleep either! Most likely Sleep Apenea is to blame. Sleep Apnea causes you to temporarily stop breathing during sleep and snoring is the side effect.  These disturbances in your sleep can occur repeatedly and result in restless sleep and daytime drowsiness. Long term, Sleep Apnea can cause serious health issues including increased blood pressure and the restriction of oxygen to your brain and your blood stream.

Related Article: Having Trouble Sleeping? Talk to Your Dentist!

Now what? Dr. Gary Skrobanek at GPS Dental can help you BOTH get a good night sleep!

Will a Mouthguard will work?

By scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Skrobanek and explaining your situation, he can work with you to recommend a dental appliance or mouthguard to wear at night that will alleviate the issue. A simple dental exam is all that needs to be done to figure out if you are a candidate for this treatment.

If so, Dr. Skrobanek can have a custom mouthguard made that fits over your maxilla and mandible (upper and lower jaw). The upper device hooks into the lower portion and enables the mandible to be pulled forward. You will be show how to use the dial mechanism to adjust the degree that the jaw needs to be held in a forward position so that it doesn’t fall open during the night causing your airway to collapse. By holding the mandible forward, the appliance (mouthguard) maintains a clear airway that improves breathing while you sleep and reduces snoring!

For more advanced cases of Sleep Apnea, a CPAP machine is the most effective treatment method; however, studies show that half of all CPAP patients cannot tolerate this type of therapy. Using a mouthguard type device is much less invasive and far more comfortable.

Related Article: Do You Hate Your CPAP Machine? Try this Simple Fix for Sleep Apnea.

Benefits of a Mouthguard:

  • Alleviate Sleep Apnea without the need for surgery, a mask, or medication
  • Improve Sleep
  • Reduce Snoring
  • Easy to Use
  • Comfortable, Custom Fit
  • Durable

What Causes Snoring?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring is a problem that affects approximately 90 million Americans. Needless to say, many couples are going through the issue of one person being a very loud snorer.

Snoring is caused by the muscles in your throat and your tongue relaxing too much while sleeping, which causes the throat to become more narrow. The air going in and out of the throat then causes the characteristic sound of snoring. Snoring becomes more serious with age and is more common in overweight individuals and males.

Sweet Dreams…

Mouthguards or oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans so this may come at little to no out-of-pocket cost to you. We’re happy to contact your dental insurance provider for you and have payment options available.

Give us a call and schedule your appointment today, so you AND your husband can get a good night sleep!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.