Sleep Apnea

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When Obstructive Sleep Apnea Occurs

  • Do you find that no matter how long you sleep at night, you still feel tired and sluggish?
  • Are you experiencing daytime tiredness, memory loss, and an inability to concentrate at work?
  • Has your sleeping partner described you as snoring, gasping, and thrashing during your sleep?
  • Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?

If you experience these difficulties, you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.

When patients snore, they are often experiencing the vibration of their soft palate. While this isn’t dangerous, it can be a sign of a condition such as obstructive sleep apnea. However, it can just be “snoring” and nothing more. Patients who have bed partners that notify them of snoring may want to find out if the condition is a sign of something more serious, such as a sleeping disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes a blockage in the airway that can cause patients to stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. The blockage can be a result of several problems, including tonsils, overly relaxed throat muscles, excess weight, large uvula, nasal congestion, tumors, cysts, or adenoids. It can also be due to the tongue falling back into the throat.

When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, it can have a negative impact on one’s overall health and wellness. With the inability to breath, the heart can stop beating which is extremely scary and concerning. Patients may also be at a higher risk for several medical conditions including GERD, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

CPAP Machine

Many patients receive a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea through their physician. While many patients are told to wear a CPAP machine, less than 30% regularly wear it. Compliance is always a concern, which is why dentists now offer oral appliances to help patients reduce snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. Kim can help. Dentists can provide oral appliances to assist patients in maintaining an open airway while they sleep. This oral appliance is worn to realign the jaw and keep the tongue down to eliminate the possibility of it falling back towards the throat. Many find this oral appliance similar to a mouth guard, to be much more comfortable to wear, therefore comply with use. This results in better health, better sleep, and a better quality of life.

If you have recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and/or snoring, consider the benefits of an oral appliance through Dr. Wook Kim, DDS today at (708) 349-3990. He can assist in providing better quality care for sleep apnea and find a more comfortable manner for you to control your condition and enjoy a good night’s sleep.