Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep disorder caused by blockages in your airway while asleep, such as the tongue rolling back or the soft tissues of your airway collapsing. OSA is a fairly common sleep disorder, and can often go undetected for some time because it occurs at night while asleep. Often, the first people to recognize the potential problem are loved ones who notice that the patient has problems breathing while asleep.
Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses and interruptions in breathing. These pauses may occur multiple times within a single hour, and individuals who have OSA may even stop breathing entirely for 10 seconds or longer at a time. When untreated, OSA contributes to many serious medical problems, including heart disease, liver problems and high blood pressure.
Some common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Choking or gasping sensations during sleep
- Excessive daytime drowsiness (hypersomnia)
- Long pauses or interruptions in breathing
- Shortness of breath upon waking in the night
- Headaches in the morning after waking
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Poor, fitful or restless sleep
- Depression, irritability or moodiness
- Difficulty sleeping at night (insomnia)
When you visit Rock Creek Dental, our dentists will work with you to find the best type of treatment for your sleep apnea. For patients with mild to moderate OSA, we may recommend oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy relies on custom-designed mouthpieces to prevent the airways from becoming blocked and allowing you to breathe easily at night. If you have a more severe form of OSA, we may recommend surgical treatment. We will be happy to work with your medical physician or with surgical specialists to ensure you receive the treatment you need.
Call us today at 406-662-0272 to make your appointment with Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Dr. David Sterzer or Dr. Kelsey Fraser and learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Red Lodge, Montana. We are here to help you improve your health and rest well again at night!