Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway of a person completely collapses while sleeping, blocking airflow to the lungs. The obstruction persists until the pain partially awakens the person. Unconsciously, the person will close her jaw, returning the tongue and throat to their normal positions.
The person returns to sleep, but the airway will collapse again, and the person will reawaken. A pattern of obstruction and awakening can repeat itself 50 or more times per hour! Often this condition (sleep apnea) is indicated by snoring.
The concern is that when the airway is blocked, the person does not receive enough oxygen to her brain. Oxygen deprivation can trigger severe health problems, such as damage to the cardiovascular system, and often results in chronic fatigue.
To counteract snoring and/or sleep apnea, we can create a simple appliance that for many people that will hold the jaw in a position to maintain an open airway. This reduces snoring and improves breathing while a person sleeps.
Some people use a CPAP device, which aids breathing, to treat sleep apnea. However, a CPAP device can be cumbersome, bothersome, and expensive. For many people, an appliance is a better solution.
If you think that you or a family member might have sleep apnea, call our office today to see if we can help you find a solution to this unhealthy condition. If you already use a CPAP device, speak with us about using an appliance as a better alternative. Dr. Firlik is ready to help you avoid serious health problems from sleep apnea, and get a good night's sleep!
To request an appointment, call Firlik Family Dentistry at (616) 361-0603.
Firlik Family Dentistry
6225 W River Dr NE
Belmont, MI 49306
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