Patients who seek treatment to help them stop snoring or stop grinding their teeth while sleeping often discover that they have sleep apnea. Serious sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. During deep, restful sleep (rapid-eye movement sleep or REM sleep), all muscles relax. This can cause the airway to become blocked by a piece of tissue or by the tongue rolling back, causing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The result of a blocked airway is a poor night’s rest because you wake up during the night struggling for breath. Long-term complications include high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches. Untreated sleep apnea may be related to or responsible for relationship difficulties, job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.
As members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), our team at Westcliffe Family Dental is committed to providing the best healthcare possible to our patients and the surrounding areas. This extends beyond fixing teeth to providing a holistic understanding of your health. During your visits, our dentist will screen you for symptoms of sleep apnea. If we don’t ask the questions, who will save your life?
For those who are diagnosed with sleep apnea, we also provide treatment for sleep apnea with the latest in dental appliance therapy. Sleep apnea is very common and affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institute of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children.
The most effective means of treating OSA is by using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressurization) mask. For those who have not experienced CPAP, just imagine sticking your nose out the window of your car at 65 miles per hour! Unfortunately, statistics show that 50% of CPAP devices will be in the closet after three weeks of use, never to return. For those who cannot tolerate CPAP, our dentist provides oral appliance therapy.
Schedule a consultation about your sleep apnea treatment in Richland, Washington, by calling our office today at 509-627-6888. Our team is here to help you start living a healthier life. You can learn more at our Silent Sleep Centers website.