Sleep Apnea Doctor Tustin - Sleep Disorder Treatment
Many adults in the United States suffer from some form of sleep apnea. If you or someone you live with snores or has trouble sleeping, they may be suffering from sleep apnea and not even know it. Many of these same people end up turning to sleep medications or not doing anything at all. That is where our Tustin dental office comes in. We can help diagnose sleep apnea and provide treatment for less severe cases.
Certified Sleep Apnea Dentist in Tustin
Dr. Parkins is one of the few dentists certified to treat sleep apnea in the Tustin area. He provides a comprehensive solution to sleep apnea using dental appliances that help patients finally achieve a full night's rest.
In fact, since sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, we highly encourage you to watch the below video and contact us as soon as possible if you or a family member are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Patients at our Tustin Dental Office
Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. The term sleep apnea is derived from the Greek etymology meaning “without breath”. Breathing pauses can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes, and happen as often as 30 times or more per hour. Ongoing disrupted breathing causes an imbalance between the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the bloodstream, as not enough carbon dioxide is exiting and not enough oxygen is entering the body.
Sensing this imbalance, the brain sends a message to the body, telling it to wake up to restart the breathing process. People with sleep apnea will partially awake as they struggle to breathe, and this is often accompanied by loud snoring or choking sensations. Because people with sleep apnea don’t always completely awake during the episodes, they are often unaware they have a sleeping disorder and it can remain undiagnosed.
Two Main Types of Sleep Apnea We See at Our Tustin Dental Office
There are two main types of sleep apnea we see at our Tustin dental office; central sleep apnea which occurs when the brain fails to send important signals to the breathing muscles, and obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when air cannot flow through the nose or mouth even though the body is still trying to breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more prevalent and easily treatable by the dentist.
Our Tustin Dental Practice Treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue lying at the back of the patient’s throat collapses into the airway. The tongue then falls towards the back of the throat which tightens the blockage and prevents oxygen from entering the lungs.
The problem worsens when the chest region, diaphragm, and abdomen fight for air. The efforts they make to obtain vital oxygen only cause a further tightening of the blockage. The patient must arouse from deep sleep to tense the tongue and remove the soft tissue from the airway.
Because sleep apnea causes carbon dioxide levels to skyrocket in the blood and oxygen levels to decrease, the heart has to pump harder and faster to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Sleep apnea patients can technically “die” many times each night. Sleep apnea has been linked to a series of serious heart-related conditions and should be investigated by the dentist at the earliest opportunity.
What Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Involve at Our Tustin Dental Office?
Initially, the dentist will want to conduct tests in order to investigate, diagnose, and pinpoint a suitable treatment. The dentist can offer many different treatment options which depend largely on the exact diagnosis and the health of the patient. The dentist may advise the patient to halt some habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and tranquilizer use.
Sleeping masks were traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Dental devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.
A more permanent solution is to have surgery that sections the lower jaw and helps pull the bone holding the tongue forward slightly. This surgery has an impressive success rate and is simple for the dentist or oral surgeon to perform. The dentist needs to formally make a diagnosis of each individual case before recommending the best course of action.
Learn More About Tustin’s Sleep Apnea Dental Solutions
Call Us Today or simply Request an Appointment Online to learn more about how we can help diagnose and treat sleep apnea at our Tustin dental office.