While it is always a good idea to have an emergency dentist on call, individuals can avoid a dental emergency and all the pain, cost and hassle that comes with one by taking preventative measures. In many cases, this simply entails adopting healthy lifestyle habits.Dental emergencies, which range from toothache to fractured teeth to abscesses,…
Are There Different Types of Sleep Apnea?
If others complain of loud snoring or if you wake up feeling tired and irritable after eight hours of sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Apnea is a Greek term that literally means "without breath." Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the involuntary cessation of a person's breathing for 10 seconds or more and at frequent intervals while that person sleeps. Treatment is necessary to prevent more serious, long-term consequences, but before recommending treatment, a dentist must first determine which type of apnea a person has.
The 3 types of sleep apnea
There are three types of this disorder: central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. All forms are characterized by the same symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping for air
- Instances in which one stops breathing during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Concentration problems during waking hours
Though symptoms look more or less the same across all three types of the condition, the causes behind each differ.
Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea is rare and occurs when the brain itself is responsible for a person's failure to breathe. When a person has this type, the brain fails to transmit signals to the breathing muscles. This means the person makes no attempt to breathe during slumber and might wake up feeling breathless or gasping for air.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is the most common type of the condition and occurs when throat muscles relax while a person slumbers. These muscles are responsible for supporting the soft palate, tonsils, uvula and sidewalls of the tongue and throat. When the throat muscles relax, these other components collapse and thereby narrow the airway significantly, resulting in low blood oxygen levels.
When a person's oxygen levels begin to deplete, the brain sounds the alarm and rouses the person from sleep. Once awake, the muscles constrict and allow air in. The periods of wakefulness are often so brief a person does not remember them. This pattern can repeat itself 30 times an hour during sleep.
There are several risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. Some of the more common risk factors include obesity, age, alcohol or sedative use and smoking. Other risk factors include being male, having a thick neck, nasal congestion and having a narrowed airway. Studies also suggest that a family history of OSA might increase a person's risk.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome
Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a mixture of both the central and obstructive types. It is not well understood why CompSAS occurs, but studies suggest that with continual continuous positive airway pressure, CSA events begin to disappear after four to six weeks.
Sleep apnea, regardless of the cause, can be disruptive and even dangerous. For this reason, it is imperative that a person who shows signs of OSA, CSA or CompSAS undergo a sleep study and discuss treatment options with a trained sleep disorder professional as soon as possible. Doing so can greatly increase the quality of one's sleep and life.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
The fear of going to the dentist has long been a trope used in almost every medium of popular culture, but dental anxiety is a real problem for many people. An excessive nervousness or apprehension that builds before a dental appointment is not uncommon among many Americans. Even those who do not consider themselves to…
A pair of dentures is an investment in a healthy, natural-looking smile. If a patient's set breaks, it may seem tempting to try to perform an at-home repair. However, this is not a wise idea, and it can cause additional problems.Dentures need to be professionally fitted to a patient. If they break, a professional re-fitting…
When dealing with dental imperfections, there are many ways to improve your smile. Patients with issues such as misaligned, discolored, chipped or misshapen teeth, as well as gum disease, may feel embarrassed about their smiles. Fortunately, there are multiple tactics and treatments available that can enhance the color, shape and alignment of teeth.These are six…