Sleep is crucial to the maintenance of a healthy body and mind. People who sleep poorly night after night are at a higher risk for a number of health conditions, as well as accidents. To reduce this risk and improve quality of life, it is necessary to identify the cause of sleeplessness and to treat that cause with appropriate therapy.
Are YOU in Need of Sleep?
Often, people who are not getting adequate sleep complain of snoring. They may feel as though they toss and turn, and may experience more unpleasant symptoms during waking hours than at night. Poor concentration, chronic sleepiness, mood swings, depression, irritability, and falling asleep in front of the TV are all indications that you may have a real problem. Especially when snoring is also a nightly occurrence, there is good reason to consider testing for obstructive sleep apnea.
Is it Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Snoring may be more than a nightly nuisance. For millions of people, snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is marked not only by loud, chronic snoring but also by lapses in breathing. When a person snores, sound is made when air vibrates over soft tissue. Pauses in sound mean that the airway has closed off completely. It is with this in mind that therapies for sleep apnea have been developed.
The most common approach to obstructive sleep apnea has been to keep the airway open with compressed air (CPAP). Theoretically, this makes sense. In practical use, however, many patients struggle with uncomfortable physical and emotional effects of CPAP. Dentist like Dr. Wiitala have educated themselves on a more integrative approach that patients find more appealing.
- Weight is a significant risk factor in obstructive sleep apnea. Excess fat around the neck and throat collapses inward when relaxed, potentially causing the airway to close. Patients are encouraged to attain and maintain a healthy weight.
- Smoking causes fluid retention and systemic inflammation, and also directly irritates the tissues in the airway. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are advised to stop smoking.
- Oral therapy can be combined with healthy lifestyle habits to achieve fast results. An oral appliance is designed to comfortably maintain an open airway by properly positioning the tongue and jaw.
Patients in the Phoenix metro area can find the solution they need to restore healthy sleep. Call (480) 657-6981 to learn more about oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.