Understanding Sleep Apnea: A Guide to Better Nights

At Mid-South TMJ and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center in Collierville, Dr. Blanton helps you understand sleep apnea. We aim to give you the knowledge and care you need to sleep soundly and live healthily. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea and how we can help you find relief.

Defining Sleep Apnea

“Apnea” means that your breathing stops temporarily. So “sleep apnea” happens when you quit breathing while asleep.

Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder. If you suffer from sleep apnea, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you’re sawing logs.

This interruption in breathing can happen hundreds of times in a single night. The biggest problem? A drastic decrease in oxygen levels in the blood.

"Apnea" refers to a pause in breathing that lasts at least ten seconds. There are different types of sleep apnea, each with its causes and characteristics.

There are a few different kinds of sleep apnea. Each has its accompanying risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options.

Fortunately for folks in Collierville, Dr. Blanton specializes in diagnosing and treating this condition.

3 Different Ways to Lose Your Breathe

“Sleep apnea” might seem a bit like a broad umbrella. Dr. Blanton wants our patients around Collierville and beyond to be informed so that they can understand what’s going on. Here are the three main types of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Dentist

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal correctly to the muscles that control breathing.

Unlike other forms of sleep apnea, CSA isn't caused by a blockage in the airway. Instead, it's a communication issue between the brain and the body.

This type can be particularly challenging to diagnose and treat, but Dr. Blanton's expertise in Collierville helps patients manage this condition effectively.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles relax excessively, causing a physical blockage in the airway.

This blockage interrupts normal breathing patterns during sleep. Symptoms often include loud snoring and feeling tired even after a full night's sleep.

At Mid-South TMJ and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center, we offer specialized OSA treatments tailored to each patient's needs.

Sleep Apnea Dentist

Mixed Sleep Apnea

Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. It involves characteristics of both types, making it a complex condition to treat.

Patients with mixed sleep apnea may experience symptoms of both CSA and OSA, requiring a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Are you dealing with this multifaceted sleep disorder? Dr. Blanton's Collierville practice provides expert care for you.

What Causes Sleep Apnea? What Are Common Symptoms?

Stubborn Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom of sleep apnea is loud and chronic snoring. It's often accompanied by choking or gasping sounds.

People with sleep apnea may experience restless sleep and wake up frequently during the night. They often feel fatigued and irritable during the day, even after a good night's sleep.

Concentration can become complicated; some may suffer headaches or dry mouth upon waking. These symptoms can be disruptive to the person with sleep apnea and those around them.

If you or a loved one in Collierville is experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Blanton's experience in sleep apnea treatments can help. Understanding the symptoms is the first step toward a better night's sleep and overall health.

Common Causes

Sleep apnea is a complex condition with various underlying causes that can differ among individuals. Here's a look at some of the main factors that may contribute to sleep apnea:

  • Obstruction of the Airway: This happens when the muscles in the throat relax excessively during sleep, leading to a narrowed or closed airway. Factors like obesity or enlarged tonsils can contribute.
  • Central Nervous System Issues: Occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. This can be linked to heart disorders, stroke, or conditions affecting the brainstem.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate sleep apnea. These factors may lead to inflammation and fluid retention in the airway, further obstructing breathing.
  • Medical Conditions: Congestive heart failure, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, prior head injuries, and type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of sleep apnea.
  • Family History and Genetics: A family history of sleep apnea or specific genetic factors may increase susceptibility to the condition.
  • Gender and Age: Men are generally more likely to suffer from sleep apnea and the risk increases.

How Dr. Blanton Helps

Finding the right treatment for sleep apnea is essential for improving overall health and well-being.

Treatment options can range from lifestyle changes and positive airway pressure devices to surgical interventions.

One popular and non-invasive option is oral appliance therapy, where a custom-fitted device is worn during sleep to keep the airway open. Dr. Blanton's expertise in Collierville ensures that patients receive the most suitable treatment, including oral appliance therapy, tailored to their specific needs and condition.