sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea

sleep apneaServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Do your family or roommates complain about your loud snoring?

Are you constantly tired, no matter how many hours of sleep you get?

If so, then you could suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep breathing disorder that greatly hinders your ability to rest and even can jeopardize your overall health.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the more serious versions of a sleep breathing disorder, a category of disorders that refers to individuals who experience some variety of breathing difficulty while they sleep. A patient with obstructive sleep apnea experiences a blockage of the airway while sleeping. These blockages can be partial or, in serious cases, completely cut off the flow of air, temporarily interrupting breathing and disrupting the deep stage of the sleep cycle, a necessary part of quality sleep.

When the airway becomes blocked, the brain signals to the body that it needs to wake up to breathe. While you may not be aware each time that you wake up, the brain is being disrupted enough to break the deep stage of the sleep cycle. The disruptions to the sleep cycle deny a sleep apnea patient the restorative qualities of sleep to the mind and body. An advanced case of sleep apnea can result in these interruptions of sleep that occur hundreds of times during a given night.

What are the symptoms and risks of sleep apnea?

Loud snoring is considered the major warning sign of sleep apnea. If you or a member of your family snores, or experience any of the following issues, then you could have sleep apnea.

Other symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Loss of libido and/or impotence
  • Weight gain
  • Poor performance at work or school

Many children with sleep apnea exhibit symptoms similar to ADD or ADHD. If another medical professional has diagnosed your child with a hyperactivity disorder, but he or she is not responding to the usual treatments, then the behavior actually could be stemming from a sleep breathing disorder.

Risks of untreated sleep apnea

Over time, a patient with sleep apnea faces a much higher risk of developing several chronic and life-threatening health problems, such as:

  • Cardiac disease
  • High blood pressure and/or stroke
  • Cognitive decline
  • Obesity
  • Depression

Plus, a sleep apnea sufferer bears a greater risk of becoming involved in an auto accident or an accident at work. When you are tired all of the time, you are more likely to fall asleep while driving or operating machinery at work.

Treatment

A sleep apnea dentist has special training and experience to diagnose and treat the disorder by addressing the airway issue that is causing the problem. Our sleep apnea dentists, Drs. Brian Devine and Russell Mack can perform an airway evaluation to determine if any issue exists. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, then we can treat the issue via oral appliance therapy. We can provide an oral appliance that is custom made to maximize its comfort and effectiveness. This appliance is worn when you sleep, placing your lower jaw in the ideal forward resting position, which maintains an open airway while you sleep.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Nashville

If you or a member of your family exhibits symptoms of sleep apnea, this disorder will not go away on its own. Seek professional help right away. Contact the office of Devine Dentistry today at (615) 269-4209 to schedule an initial consultation.

Devine Dentistry is proud to provide total oral health care to patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.