sleep apnea in Columbus

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder in America. It’s estimated that more than 22 million Americans have this disorder, and up to 80% have never been diagnosed. But sleep apnea is more than just a snore. It’s a serious medical problem. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact us for an appointment and get more information about sleep apnea in Columbus.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This type of apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the throat and palate relax and sag during sleep, blocking the airway and preventing proper breathing. Breathing is usually interrupted for a period of 2-10 seconds or longer. Sleep apnea causes poor quality sleep and can contribute to your risk of other major health issues, making it a serious issue. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor right away.

Woman attached to sleep apnea machine

What Happens If Sleep Apnea Is Left Untreated?

In the short term, you’ll experience poor sleep quality, drowsiness, and a number of other uncomfortable symptoms. 

But the long term effects are even worse. Because sleep apnea interrupts proper blood oxygenation, it can contribute to your risk of heart disease and stroke, putting you at risk of a life-threatening health emergency.

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Do I Have Sleep Apnea? The Signs & Symptoms

Wondering if you or your partner may have sleep apnea? There are a variety of different signs and symptoms that may indicate apnea. Snoring is a major sign, but snoring alone is not enough to diagnose apnea. Here are a few common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. If you recognize one or more of them, we recommend contacting us for a consultation.

Heavy nighttime snoring, accompanied with pauses in breathing or gasping/choking sounds
Daytime drowsiness or sleepiness, even when getting 7-8 or more hours of sleep
Waking up in the night due to shortness of breath or a gasping or choking sensation
Excessive tossing and turning at night
Mood swings and reduced libido
Morning headaches

How Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

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Oral Sleep Appliance

Oral sleep appliances can be used to prevent teeth grinding, and to reposition your jaw for a healthier airway. This treatment is usually used for people with mild-to-moderate apnea. By repositioning the jaw, sagging tissue can be avoided, preventing obstructive sleep apnea and eliminating its symptoms and effects.

CPAP Machine

A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is usually a better option for patients with serious apnea. For these cases, we collaborate with neurologists to facilitate this service. This machine creates a gentle stream of positively-pressurized air, which is delivered to your airway through a face and nose mask. This stream prevents tissue from collapsing in your airway, ensuring proper breathing at night. For patients that have trouble getting used to the CPAP machine, we are happy to provide assistance to ensure you sleep soundly.

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