What Are the Two Main Types of Sleep Apnea?
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your lower jawbone muscles will be too weak to hold your jaw in place as you sleep. As a result, it can fall backward and your tongue with it. Your tongue will then block your airway, making it impossible to breathe properly while sleeping. This is why people with OSA will typically snore or sound like they are choking in their sleep. This is one of the signs that the body is trying to move the tongue in order to breathe. Another cause of OSA is having too much fatty tissue in the back of your throat. This is one reason obesity is a risk factor for OSA.
- Central Sleep Apnea. In this condition, the brain is responsible for the sleep apnea. By not sending signals to the muscles in charge of breathing, your body fails to respond as it should. This is not something that can be treated by a dentist, but instead, you will need to see a specialist.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
At Well Being Dentistry, we recommend that patients explore all non-invasive treatment options first. This is why we will often recommend that our Santa Clara, CA, patients wear a removable oral appliance. An oral appliance is a convenient treatment option because it does not make any noise and is incredibly discrete.
Some patients also require the use of a CPAP machine to provide them with additional oxygen. The challenge with a CPAP is that it can be loud and uncomfortable to wear. The third treatment option for OSA is to have surgery to remove the extra fatty tissue blocking your airway.
How Does an Oral Appliance Work?
Wearing an oral appliance is incredibly easy. It is customized for your mouth specifically so it fits snugly and securely. As a result, you can simply slip it into place when you go to sleep. It remains in place inside of your mouth and does an excellent job of holding your lower jaw in the forward position. This prevents your tongue from falling backward and keeps your airway clear.
Some patients receive all of the benefits they need by wearing an oral appliance, while those with severe sleep apnea may also require the use of a CPAP machine at the same time. In this case, most patients report that their CPAP is far more comfortable than when they were using it as a standalone treatment option.
To learn more about sleep apnea or discuss your oral health in general, call (408) 244-0590 and schedule an appointment with our Santa Clara dental office. At Well Being Dentistry, we are happy to discuss your health challenges and make recommendations, even if we have to refer you to a specialist for treatment.
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Definition of Dental Terminology
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums, and/or bite.
- Tooth decay is when the enamel of the tooth begins to decay and cause erosion from plaque and tartar on the teeth.
- Dental Caries
- Dental caries are also known as cavities and result from a lack of proper oral hygiene leaving plaque that forms tiny holes in the teeth.
- Dental Checkup
- A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection or dental issues, and addressing said signs of infection or dental issues. It is performed at least once every six months in the dental office.
- Dental Filling
- A dental filling involves restoring the structure of the tooth by using different filling materials to fill the tooth.
- Dental Prophylaxis
- Dental prophylaxis is a professional and detailed cleaning that involves the removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the teeth.
- Dental Sealants
- Dental sealants are a resinous material that we apply to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth to prevent dental caries.
- A dentist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
- Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth, and poor oral hygiene.
- Preventive Dentistry
- Preventive dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health by preventing the formation of plaque and tartar and the development of issues like cavities, gum disease, and infections in the mouth.
- Tartar forms when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and calcifies into a hard surface that is much more difficult to remove and will require professional treatment.
- Tooth Enamel
- Tooth enamel is the protective visible outer surface of a tooth that covers the dentin and dental pulp.