Dr. Shab Krish DDS, MS
American Board of Craniofacial Pain
American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine
Sleep Apnea is defined as the absence of breathing during sleep... Breathing is a required function for oxygen to reach the lungs... Suffocation is defined as deprivation of oxygen... Essentially, if someone suffers from Sleep Apnea, they are suffocating during their sleep!
Apnea comes from the Greek word, apnoia, which means ‘without breath’. Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by breathing pauses during sleep, gasping for air, and snoring. It is categorized into three different types: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Irrespective of the type of sleep apnea, a patient who has the disorder faces breathing difficulties during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common disorder seen in patients. This condition occurs when the tissues at the back of the throat start to collapse and block the airway. When the airway is partially closed, loud snoring can be heard. When the airway is completely blocked, the oxygen level in the blood drops, the brain senses it, and sends signals to the muscles of the body forcing the patient to wake up in order to open up the airway. The blocking and reopening of the airway becomes a cycle and, as a result, the patient will not be able to enter a state of deep sleep resulting in sleep insufficiency, making it impossible for patients to get sufficient rest, even if the patient does not remember waking up at all.
Sleep plays a pivotal role in a healthy life. It helps us restore energy and allows the brain to partially rest. Research has proven that when we fail to get sufficient sleep, a number of health issues can arise.
Thanks to the advancements in the field of dentistry and medicine, there are many new ways of diagnosis and new treatment methods to address sleep disorders. Our practice, located in Flower Mound, Texas is dedicated exclusively to treating sleep apnea and similar sleep disorders. If you or your bedtime partner snores loudly or is finding it difficult to feel rested, come in for an evaluation.
Besides effecting the quality of sleep, sleep apnea also puts the heart under direct stress. When the oxygen level in the blood drops, the heart is forced to pump blood at a faster rate. These rapid changes in the body and heart rate can lead to hypertension and increased risk of cardiac arrest. Diabetes and depression are other health issues which can arise from sleep apnea.
It can be challenging to determine if a person has sleep apnea since most of the characteristics are observed when he/she is asleep. During your visit to our TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire related to your sleep patterns, daytime drowsiness, and overall feeling of restfulness. Input from your bed partner can be extremely helpful during the questionnaire since you may not be aware of some symptoms that you exhibit while asleep, like snoring, gasping, or choking. Dr. Krish will assess your answers, perform further analysis, and also look in your mouth checking for enlarged tissues at the back of your mouth and throat that may be blocking the airway.
If deemed necessary, Dr. Krish might recommend a sleep study, a diagnostic tool where breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure levels are all monitored during sleep. This study provides more information on what your body is doing while you’re sleeping.
The best treatment depends on the severity of the condition. For mild to moderate sleep apnea cases and for patients who are CPAP intolerant, an oral appliance is recommended. This oral appliance is different from an over-the-counter mouthpiece or night guard. The oral appliance is specially designed to keep the airway open during sleep by moving the lower jawbone slightly forward so that the airway is not blocked and the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is in an ideal resting position.
Other solutions, not offered by our practice, include CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or similar equipment which helps to keep the airway open during sleep by ensuring that the pressure of the air available for breathing is slightly higher than that of atmospheric pressure. A surgery might be recommended for patients who have extra growth of soft tissues in the oral cavity or a poorly positioned lower jawbone which may be the cause of the blocked airway.
Children with undiagnosed OSA are frequently misdiagnosed as having ADHD and placed on unnecessary medications.Adult’s Signs and Symptoms May Include:
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