Sleep apnea is a common condition, especially among adults. In fact, 1 in 5 adults has some type of mild sleep apnea while 1 in 15 adults will have moderate sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea also affects 1%-3% of children. When a person is sleeping, the upper airway can get obstructed by large nostrils, a large tongue and/or excess tissue. The airway muscles are another contributing factor to the problem. These tend to relax & collapse when a person is asleep. The apnea or cessation of breathing that these factors bring about initiates various impulses from the brain and awaken the person just long enough to restart the actual breathing process.
This cycle repeats a number of times, right through the night. It can result in severe sleep deprivation as well as a number of health issues. Generally, sleep apnea is defined as the presence of 30 or more apneas during a 7-hour sleep. In severe cases, the “not-breathing” periods can last for as long as 60-90 seconds and may recur up to 500 times/night.
Treatment options for sleep apnea may either be surgical or non-surgical. Less intrusive non-surgical options include the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine in which air is pushed through a nasal mask or simple dental alternatives. In most cases, C-PAP is the preferred treatment, though it can be quite difficult for certain patients to accept and use. As another alternative, an oral appliance which holds the lower jaw and brings the tongue forward can be used. By using the appliance the soft-palate is elevated which retains the tongue and keeps it from falling backwards into the airway and blocking breathing.
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The staff at Hampton Dentistry are truly attentive and friendly. Dr. Baker, with her kind and honest demeanor, puts one’s mind completely at ease.
Just about every facet of oral problem solvers can be found on the premises by leading experts in their field. But topping the list is Dr. Danielle Baker herself!