What is Sleep Apnea? – Beachwood, OH

Why Is Sleep Apnea a Big Deal?

If you wake up feeling more tired than before you went to sleep, if you are irritable during the day, and if you and your partner struggle to sleep through your chronic snoring, you may be dealing with sleep apnea. Too many Americans suffer from the exhausting side effects of the condition without receiving a proper diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect you or a loved one are dealing with disordered sleep or you want an anser to the quesiton, "What is sleep apnea," our Beachwood, OH dentist is here to help. Take a few moments to schedule an appointment for a sleep apnea evaluation or treatment with the dental team at The Center for Advanced Dentistry.


Why Choose the Center for Advanced Dentistry for Sleep Apnea Therapy?

  • Custom-Made Sleep Appliances for Each Patient
  • Able to Stop Even Severe Snoring
  • More Comfortable Alternative to CPAP Therapy



Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleeping man with animation of obstructive sleep apnea over his facial profile

The two most common types of sleep apnea are obstructive and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and lower jaw become so relaxed during sleep that they collapse into the airway, blocking the proper flow of air. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is an issue in communication between the brain and the muscles that control breath. In both cases, the brain lacks oxygen and sends an emergency signal to the body to wake up and resume breathing.

OSA is unique in that it is associated with loud, chronic, disruptive snoring. Dry mouth and a sore throat upon waking often accompany snoring. Aside from snoring, obstructive and central sleep apneas share the following side effects:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion during the day
  • Inability to complete everyday tasks
  • Frequent waking throughout the night, as observed by a partner
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety and/or depression

Left untreated, sleep apnea has serious consequences. The condition causes hundreds of interruptions in sleep throughout the night, and that adds up to a lot of lost sleep and oxygen to the brain over time. The condition has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and even premature death.


Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Man in need of sleep apnea treatment

People of all ages can be affected by a sleep breathing disorder. However, there are some factors that increase the risk of developing OSA and CSA. People who are overweight are far more likely to suffer from OSA. OSA is becoming increasingly common in children. Men and people over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of both conditions. Heart disease, stroke, and brain tumors may increase the risk of CSA.


Sleep Apnea Evaluation and Treatment

Dentist discussing sleep apnea treatment with dental patient

The only way to know for sure whether or not your symptoms are the result of sleep apnea is to schedule an appointment for a sleep apnea evaluation. Once you have received a proper diagnosis for your sleep breathing disorder, that is great news. It means a successful treatment is on the way.

OSA is often successfully treated with a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine. People who do not find relief with the CPAP may prefer the oral appliance therapy. With a small, removable device, the jaw and tongue are held in place to prevent blockage and allow for the free flow of air throughout the night.

Don’t put off your sleep apnea evaluation. Request an appointment at The Center for Advanced Dentistry today!