Sleep Apnea Treatment
For many, heavy snoring at night is a normal part of the nighttime routine. However, deep, raucous snoring can also be indicative of a more serious problem: sleep apnea. In Chabot Valley, Dr. Larry Tabor and his team use advanced dental technology to help identify cases of sleep apnea and work with a network of local medical professionals to find the right solution for a better night’s rest.
Sleep Apnea – Causes and Consequences
In patients with sleep apnea, the tissue at the back of the throat relaxes, blocking airflow and causing patients to stop breathing for several seconds at a time. As the body tries to resume breathing, the brain sends signals to wake up in order to restart breathing. This pattern of airflow blockage to restarted breathing makes it difficult for patients to get a full night’s rest.
Beyond preventing patients from getting the sleep they need, sleep apnea can have a number of long-term health consequences. During episodes of sleep apnea, the heart pumps harder in order to compensate for lack of oxygen. As a result, the muscle enlarges. As the heart grows, it begins to pump less efficiently, putting patients at risk for a number of serious cardiovascular problems including heart murmurs, blood clots, and even heart failure. Without a constant flow of oxygen, blood pressure can increase, straining the heart and increasing the risk of hypertension.
Sleep apnea can also impact the health of partners or family members. The deep snoring and pauses in breathing can be especially difficult to sleep next to and it is not uncommon for partners to suffer from an insufficient sleep schedule. Missing out on sleep can lead to daytime fatigue, making it dangerous for patients with sleep apnea who also operate heavy machinery or drive long commutes.
With these side effects in mind, it is important that individuals who suspect they may be suffering from sleep apnea visit a medical professional for a full diagnosis.
Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea
When identifying cases of sleep apnea, Chabot Dental works closely with your primary care physician to find the right solution for your needs. Starting with your first consultation, Dr. Tabor covers the risks and symptoms of sleep apnea, helping diagnose patients who may suspect they are exhibiting some of the more common symptoms. From there, we send you to a dedicated sleep center for comprehensive diagnosis. The doctors there will monitor your overnight breathing patterns, blood pressure, brain activity, heart rate, and muscle movement.
Once the sleep study is complete and a diagnosis is confirmed, Dr. Tabor uses a cone beam scanner to take 3D images of your smile and supplies the radiographs needed to create a treatment solution. While CPAP therapy is considered the golden standard for treatment sleep apnea, some patients may find it difficult to acclimate to the treatment. For those individuals, our Chabot dentist can create customized oral appliances as an alternative solution.
Think you have Sleep Apnea? Call our Chabot Dentist Today
Engaging in proactive treatment is critical when it comes to addressing sleep apnea. If you or your partner is experiencing symptoms such as daytime fatigue, trouble staying awake, or deep snoring, call Dr. Tabor today to schedule your appointment.