What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that goes undiagnosed in millions of men and women. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and even life-threatening condition that causes low blood oxygen levels. Sleep apnea is generally defined as the presence of 5 to greater than 30 apneas during a seven-hour period of sleep. During sleep, large tonsils, a large tongue, or excess tissues can obstruct the upper airway.
The nasal passages, the position of the jaw, and the airway muscles may also contribute to sleep apnea. When the airflow is blocked, the oxygen levels in the brain become low and the cessation of breathing or “apnea,” wakes the person up so they are able to restart the breathing process. The sleeper usually wakes up with a loud gasp and returns to sleep. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common and is caused by the failure of the brain to signal the muscles to breathe.
- Age- 50% if over 50 years and older
- Genetics- family history
- Loud snoring, long pauses when breathing stops
- Restless sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Memory impairment and personality changes
- Inability to concentrate
- Dry mouth
- Erectile dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Daily fatigue
Mandibular Advancement Devices
The mandibular advancement device helps diminish any restriction in the back of the throat by moving the jaw and tongue forward. By advancing them, the jaw and tongue move away from the back of the throat. This increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to snoring. Mandibular Advancement Devices fit within the mouth and are molded to your teeth to provide a platform.