Sleep Apnea Disorder Options for Treatment
Sleep Apnea is a disorder when you quit breathing during your sleep. It is a serious medical condition that can lead to any one of a number of negative side effects. It is a growing health issue that affects more than 18 million Americans today. This includes men, women and children. The majority actually go undiagnosed. Adults with sleep apnea have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes and die earlier. There have been studies that show a tissue loss in the brain now linking sleep apnea with memory loss. It is also related to motor vehicle accidents due to daytime drowsiness due to the lack of quality sleep. Due to so many cases going untreated the health industry claims that sleep apnea may cost the US an additional $3.4 billion dollars in added medical costs.
Children with sleep apnea and breathing disorders can suffer from behavioral problems and will have a lower IQ score. We’ll first look at the different types of sleep apnea, what cause the disorder, the possible side effects if left unattended and the different solutions available today to correct sleep apnea.
The Possible Solutions for Sleep Apnea
Orthodontists like Dr. Pan are becoming more involved in sleep apnea. Especially with children, Dr. Pan can take preventative measures to help the child from not having to deal with the disorder their entire lives. Often times the upper jaw is too narrow and will be evident with the bite pattern. The jaw can be easily expanded with a device that Dr. Pan can install to push apart the molars. This effort will then also open up the airway as the child grows.
The behavioral therapy is a foundational starting point to begin treatment. Several easy treatments to improve the disorder are to avoid alcohol or other muscle relaxants, quit smoking and use this as your reason to lose weight. Once one or several of these has been put into place there are other treatments.
A very common solution is the introduction of the CPAP machine. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure and was first used in 1981. The device applies and maintains mild air pressure on a continuous basis to keep your airway open by not allowing it to collapse or become blocked. However, it is a cumbersome machine to use for a lifetime. Thus, people seek other solutions to replace CPAP. There are different oral devices that can be positioned in the mouth to prevent throat blockage. However, they can cause TMD, bite change and other side effects.
Surgery in combination with orthodontics is considered the most effective in airway improvement because it permanently changes the anatomy and functions of our oral-facial structure that was the cause of the problem in the first place. It is possible that your upper jaw can be corrected or the base of your tongue changed. Ask Dr. Pan how we can help in this life-changing procedure to improve your quality of life.
The Life Style Improvements after Correction
Needless to say, we spend a lot of time attempting to put a value on our smile. But what is the value of a good night’s sleep? If you have a friend, roommate or family member that might be suffering from sleep apnea suggest that they schedule an appointment to have an evaluation. If it is a child it can be possibly corrected permanently.
If it is an adult the suggested solutions can be huge in their overall health. Whether it is the catalyst to lose weight or quite smoking it could make a dramatic impact on the amount of sleep their body can get moving forward and the quality of life they will experience being well rested day after day. To proactively eliminate it as a risk for a heart attack or a stroke speaks for itself in those documented health hazards.
Regularly scheduled visits to a dentist is also not only healthy for your oral hygiene but also for this disorder. Orthodontists are key role players in diagnosing sleep apnea in children when they do a thorough evaluation of the teeth and gums, mouth, jaws, facial structure, etc. They can introduce a screening process that will confirm if there are issues that you as a parent may not have been aware of. Some simple questions can open many doors. Orthodontists, such as Dr. Pan, are well-versed in addressing this sleep disorder. They can play an important role in helping and improving the disorder in adults as well. What does a good night’s sleep mean to you?
Pan Orthodontics Philosophy
To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.
Our Commitment to You
We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.