Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
What is OSA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a narrowing or total closure of the airway during sleep. This happens because the tongue and soft tissue in the back of the mouth press backward on the airway when you lay down. Most people are not even aware that they may be suffering from this condition and it could be effecting daily life. People who have OSA may have hundreds of episodes every night where the airway becomes completely blocked and they stop breathing for ten seconds or more. The brain then recognizes the lack of oxygen and prompts the body to take a breath.
The lack of deep sleep caused by OSA can severely stress your body's systems, most notably the cardiovascular system and your metabolism. Because of the healing and recovery that takes place when we sleep, conditions like the following are often linked to OSA. These include Obesity, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Erectile and other Sexual Dysfunctions, Stroke, Congestive Heart Failure and even Death. Headaches, Depression and increased fatigue-related accidents can also be related to OSA.
- 40-80% of stroke victims also suffer from OSA
- Untreated OSA patients are at a 40% greater risk of suffering depression
- If you have OSA, you are twice as likely to die in your sleep and 7 times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident.
- Studies show that about 50% of people who snore also have OSA.
Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea is frequently treats with a CPAP machine. This is a device that increases air pressure in the throat by forcing oxygen through a mask that is worn over the nose and sometimes over the mouth as well. This forced pressure in the throat prevents the airway from collapsing on the inhale during sleep, allowing for a more restful night for the wearer. Many people with a CPAP machine do not use it on a nightly basis for a number of reasons. The head gear required with a CPAP limits sleep positions and people who travel often find that it is not convenient to transport. This device also requires electricity for use and has parts that need to be replaced on a regular basis and it can take some time to adjust to the sounds it makes. We often hear that patients do not like their CPAP and choose not to wear it.
Dr. Berard and the team at High-Tech Dental in Manistee have special training in treating OSA with a device that is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. This device is called the MicrO2; it is highly effective in treating sleep apnea and is convenient to use. MicrO2 is an oral appliance specially fitted to your mouth and teeth. It consists of a separate upper and lower piece that allows you to speak, yawn and drink. The MicrO2 allows treatment of mild, moderate and severe OSA by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This creates a slight tightening of the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction when sleeping. It also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them, which is a major cause of snoring.
If you know you snore, if you find yourself exhausted when you wake up, easily fall asleep while reading, watching tv or sitting inactive in a public place like a movie theatre or meeting, it would be wise to see Dr. Berard to see if you are suffering from OSA.
Home Sleep Study
If we suspect that you may be grinding your teeth or have signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we at High-Tech Dental may recommend that you take a Home Sleep Study. This study measures any teeth grinding, snoring and any obstruction of the airway.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition that needs to be treated immediatly. If you have any questions please call us at High-Tech Dental in Manistee at 231-723-6512.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Did you know that 40% of Adults snore? It increases with age and weight. Snoring by itself is harmless, though it usually bothers the partner more than the snorer. In extreme cases, the snorer may find himself sleeping on the couch. Though snoring by itself is harmless, it can be a sign of a very serious medical condition, OSA. 40% of snorers also show signs of OSA.
Teeth Grinding and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Most people who grind their teeth do so while they are sleeping. 30-40% of people who grind also have signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If the airway is blocked, grinding, bruxism, moves the jaw forward opening the airway. The bruxism can cause wear and chipping of the teeth, broken teeth, headaches and TMJ pain. Most importantly it can be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.