Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. Breathing pauses can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes and happen as often as 30 times or more per hour. Ongoing disrupted breathing causes an imbalance between the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the bloodstream, as not enough carbon dioxide is exiting and not enough oxygen is entering the body. The dentist will want to conduct tests in order to investigate, diagnose and pinpoint a suitable treatment. We can offer many different treatment options which depend largely on the exact diagnosis and the health of the patient. We may advise the patient to halt some habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, alcohol consumption and tranquilizer use.
Sensing this imbalance, the brain sends a message to the body, telling it to wake up to restart breathing the process. People with sleep apnea will partially awake as they struggle to breathe and this is often accompanied by loud snoring or choking sensations. Because people with sleep apnea don’t always completely awake during the episodes, they are often unaware they have a sleeping disorder and it can remain undiagnosed. Surgery that sections the lower jaw and helps pull the bone holding the tongue forward slightly. This surgery has an impressive success rate and is simple for the oral surgeon to perform.