More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Fortunately, Robert J. Perez, DDS, has the experience and expertise to treat this potentially serious condition at Impressive Smiles Tampa in Tampa, Florida. When left untreated, sleep apnea does more than disrupt your sleep quality, it damages your overall health. Call Impressive Smiles Tampa or book an appointment online to learn more.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a person repeatedly stops and starts breathing again throughout the night. In a single night, you can stop breathing hundreds of times without ever realizing it. Dr. Perez treats three main types of sleep apnea:
The most common type of sleep apnea, OSA occurs when your throat muscles relax and cause the soft tissues in the back of your throat to collapse during sleep. This blockage stops air from comfortably passing through.
Unlike OSA, central sleep apnea is not caused by a throat blockage. Instead, it happens when your brain fails to send the right signal to the muscles that control your breathing. Central sleep apnea is typically the result of a serious illness, such as an infection of the lower brainstem.
A person with complex sleep apnea has both OSA and central sleep apnea.
What makes sleep apnea difficult to diagnose is that it only occurs while you’re sleeping, so you may not realize you have it. However, there are many symptoms to watch out for, including:
Extremely loud snoring is a telltale sign of sleep apnea, so most sleep apnea patients don’t become aware of their symptoms until speaking with their partner, roommate, or family.
If you think you have sleep apnea, Dr. Perez can help design the right treatment plan for you. The most common sleep apnea treatments are:
Oral appliances like night guards prevent blockages in your throat to help you breathe properly throughout the night. A mandibular advancement device (MAD) snaps over the upper and lower arches of your mouth just like a mouth guard. It has metal hinges to gently push your jaw forward, thus preventing the tissues in the back of your throat from collapsing. A tongue-retaining device works similarly, but instead depresses your tongue to keep your airway open.
A CPAP machine continuously delivers air pressure into your mouth while you sleep, so it’s virtually impossible to stop breathing. It is highly effective but less comfortable than oral appliances.
When left untreated, sleep apnea raises your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and more. To get the help you need, call Impressive Smiles Tampa or schedule an appointment online.