Sleep apnea describes a condition during which you periodically stop breathing in your sleep, and is often marked by cycles of increasingly loud snoring. Though many patients don’t realize that they can find relief from snoring at their Reno dentists’ office, the truth is that Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans have helped many patients find the quiet rest they deserve by treating the mechanisms behind snoring and sleep apnea.
What is Snoring, Exactly?
Sleep is vital because it allows your mind and body to rejuvenate and prepare for the next day’s demands. As your body relaxes, muscles and tissue can sag, including those in your mouth and throat. If you’ve ever whistled, then you know that air tends to grow louder when it’s forced through a minimal space. Unlike your lips, however, the oral tissues that can collapse into your airway while you sleep are soft and vibrate violently from the disruption, adding their raucous noise to the sound of escaping air. The more these tissues collapse, the smaller your airway becomes, and in severe cases, they can completely close your airway and force you to stop breathing.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When your airway closes, the lack of oxygen causes your mind to panic, which then forces your body to wake enough to start breathing again. The slight mental nudge doesn’t wake you fully, and patients with sleep apnea typically aren’t aware of the disruptions to their sleep cycle. However, the pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times a night and prevent your mind and body from entering the deep stages of sleep. In time, you may exhibit symptoms such as daytime fatigue, unusual irritability, decreased concentration, trouble remembering, and other signs of sleep deprivation, even though you may believe you’re sleeping soundly through the night.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea often entails a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that helps prevent tissue collapse. The machine provides a positive air flow through a mask worn over your face, and helps keep your airway clear while you sleep. Patients who don’t respond well to wearing a mask while they sleep, or who travel a lot and find the CPAP machine too inconvenient to carry with them, might find relief with a custom-crafted sleepguard. The oral appliance is designed to hold your lower jaw slightly forward, treating sleep apnea by preventing any tissues from blocking your airway.
About Your Reno Dentists:
Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 829-7700.