Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by interruption of breathing that occurs while a person sleeps. A person with undiagnosed sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times a night. This disorder is very serious due to the threat of oxygen starvation, which can be extremely hazardous if the person does not seek treatment. Sleep apnea dentistry is sometimes employed in situations where the person cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a common remedy that keeps airways open using mild pressure. At Adriatic Dental in San Marcos, Dr. Valentina Obradovic offers sleep apnea dentistry and can help patients understand what causes sleep apnea.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, but several factors can increase your risk, including:

Sex. Males are more prone to develop sleep apnea.
Age. The risk increases for people over the age of 40.
Weight. Overweight people are at a greater risk.
Family history. Genetics play a role in sleep apnea.
Jaw Bone and Tongue/Tonsils Size. People with smaller than average jaw bone or larger than average tongue and/or tonsils are at a greater risk.
Neck Girth. A bulkier neck, measuring 17 or more inches in men and 16 or more inches in women, increases the risk.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). People with GERD or more prone to sleep apnea.
Nasal Blockage. People with nasal blockage caused by allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum are more likely to develop sleep apnea.

Common Sleep Apnea Dentistry Appliances

Many different sleep apnea dentistry devices are available, and Dr. Obradovic can help you determine the best one for your needs. Two devices commonly used in cases where patients cannot CPAP include:

• Mandibular advancement device (MAD), which resemble a sports mouth guard. This keeps the airways open by pushing the lower jaw forward and slightly downward.

• Tongue retraining device (TRD) is a splint that keeps the airways open by holding the tongue in place.

If you would like to learn more about what causes sleep apnea and sleep apnea dentistry, please call and schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Valentina Obradovic.

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