More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a medical condition that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea means there is a blockage of the airway, usually from a collapse of the soft tissue in the throat. The end result is not enough oxygen gets to the lungs, and the person with sleep apnea does not get enough restful sleep.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause:
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but a few factors put you at a higher risk:
Anyone who experiences any of the following warning signs of sleep apnea (or whose bed partner notices these symptoms) should consider getting screened for sleep apnea:
For patients who do not do well with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), oral appliances, also known as dental appliances, may be an option. An oral appliance is a piece of acrylic or silicone that fits in your mouth and opens your airway during sleep.
Research has shown that long-term use of oral appliances can help control mild to moderate sleep apnea more than 80 percent of the time.
If you are interested in learning more about sleep apnea and how sleep dentistry can help, please contact Reedley, California dentists Dr. Dennis Ikuta and Dr. Deric Ikuta. Both are specially trained to help patients who suffer from sleep apnea. We proudly service patients in Fresno, Visalia, Reedley, Hanford and Kingsburg.
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