Apnea simply means the temporary absence of breath. There are two main types of sleep apnea, obstructive and central. Central sleep apnea is the rare form that is typically caused by malfunctions in the nervous system.
Far more common is obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is essentially caused by an over-relaxation of the throat muscles during sleep. As a result, airways constrict or collapse, preventing the lungs from taking in enough oxygen. This can happen as many as dozens of times per hour.Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Obstructive sleep apnea is dangerous because it causes a lack of oxygen in the body. Since the lungs are not fully oxygenating the blood, the heart must work overtime to compensate by pushing an increased volume of blood to other organs. Heart muscles are being placed at an extreme risk by being overworked while simultaneously being in an oxygen deficient environment. This may directly lead to a heart attack. In addition, sleep is adversely affected from these episodes. Concentration and awareness can be decreased which can reduce the quality of life.Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is actually the progression of snoring. As a snorer ages, gains weight, or consumes alcohol, he or she has an ever-increasing risk of sleep apnea. As such, it is vital for snorers to be screened for sleep apnea, a service which we provide free of charge at Pelican Landing Dental. If given a positive screening test result, one should be properly evaluated by a sleep physician utilizing a sleep study. However, if you snore but do not have apnea, Pelican Landing Dental can fabricate you a comfortable “snore device” to end your snoring today. For those of us who do suffer from apnea, a different "apnea appliance" can be fabricated following a medical diagnosis. This diagnosis allows medical insurance to be billed for your apnea treatment.