Sleep Apnea

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea (ap-nee-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you'll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night's sleep.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

Classification Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

An apneic event is a cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or more. Hypopnea is measured by a partial cessation of breathing and a decrease in blood oxygen saturation. Can you imagine not breathing for 25 seconds, 30 times every hour during the night? How much life-giving oxygen would be going to your brain?

The severities of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are measured by the Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI).

The number of apneas plus hypopneas in an hour is the index number. An AHI of 5 or below is considered normal/acceptable.

The preferred treatment for Mild and Moderate cases is a comfortable intra-oral custom made appliance. In the severe cases the preferred treatment is a CPAP (or BiPAP, APAP) but more than 50% of these patients will not, or do not, use their CPAP. For those patients, who are designated "CPAP Intolerant" an intra-oral appliance will produce good results.

What Conditions Contribute To Sleep Apnea?

There are a number of factors that increase risk, including:

OSA Will Cause Or Exacerbate:

Can you see the importance of screening for this disease? Can you see how treating OSA ties in with Dentistry?

Please call us at 239-262-4595 for a consultation!