Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleeping disorders, and it affects millions of Americans every year. Most people who have minor to moderate cases of sleep apnea are unaware that they even suffer from this condition.

However, even moderate cases of sleep apnea reduce the ability to get restful sleep, and can even result in an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

At Green Dental Care, Dr. Christopher Green can help you get treatment for sleep apnea in Parker, Franktown, and Elizabeth. Learn more about this condition below, and schedule your appointment right away.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea – The Most Common Type Of Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of apnea, and it occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth, palate, and throat become relaxed during sleep, and block the airway, interrupting normal breathing cycles. This usually prevents normal breathing for a few seconds, but can last up to 10 seconds or longer, interrupting oxygen flow to the lungs. It is important to note that while snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, it is not the same thing. Snoring is simply caused by turbulent airflow throughout the airway, which causes vibrations of soft tissues.

sleep apnea parker co

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea – Signs And Symptoms

Do you think you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnea? Here are a few signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.

  • Waking up in the middle of the night gasping or choking.
  • Prolonged, severe snoring, with gaps and interruptions and “snorting”.
  • Sleepiness and irritability in the mornings.
  • Mood swings
  • Not feeling well-rested, even after a full night of sleep (7-8 hours)
  • Sore throat or dry mouth when waking up
  • Morning headaches and migraines.

Have any of these symptoms? You may need to see Dr. Green or a sleep doctor for a comprehensive assessment.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

The most common treatment option for sleep apnea used to be a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. This machine uses a mask and a pump to gently pump air into the lungs and throat, preventing soft tissues from “sagging” and blocking the airway.

However, CPAP machines require power, and are sometimes uncomfortable and cannot be worn by side sleepers or stomach sleepers.

For this reason, the “oral appliance” is becoming popular for patients with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Similar in shape to a retainer or mouthguard, an oral appliance is built by a qualified dentist like Dr. Green, and it shifts the jaw muscles and tissue to prevent airway obstruction.

Surgery may be needed in some cases, but this is extremely rare, and required only in the most severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.


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