Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that plagues approximately 18 million Americans. A person has “apnea” if he or she stops breathing for ten seconds or more during sleep. When this happens, the brain either causes the person to wake up, or shift to a lighter sleep.
Sleep apnea interferes with daily life
- These sleep interruptions can wreak havoc on your waking life because they prevent you from getting the rest you need. Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea.
- The disorder often goes undiagnosed because many people don’t even realize they have it until someone notices them snoring or ceasing to breathe.
Types of sleep apnea
- There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form, and is caused by an airway blockage. Central is caused by a brain signal failure, and complex is a combination of the two.
- The good news is that, in some cases of obstructive sleep apnea, a dental device can be more effective at treating sleep apnea than surgical methods. Houston dentist Dr. Kathy Frazar and her partner, Dr. Tom Hedge, are experienced in helping people who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Your initial consultation and treatment options
- During your initial visit, you’ll go through tests to determine whether you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. If this is the case, there are a few treatment options.
- For some patients, a nasal mask can keep the nasal passages open during sleep. For others, dental devices can be used to reposition the tongue or mandible to reduce air obstruction.
- It’s critical to get medical attention if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to drowsiness (dangerous when driving), headaches, depression, and irritability, and can even be life-threatening.
If you are looking for a Houston dentist for sleep apnea treatment, turn to Dr. Kathy Frazar and Dr. Tom Hedge. Call our dentists for a complimentary consultation so you can begin to get the rest you need.