Understanding Sleep Apnea: Unraveling the Connection to Overall Health

added on: August 18, 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep is often neglected, with many people failing to recognize its significant impact on overall health. One condition that can disrupt the quality of sleep and pose serious health risks is sleep apnea. Your dentist in Bend, OR at Ponderosa Dental Center is committed to shedding light on this prevalent yet underdiagnosed disorder to promote better health, wellbeing, and rest. Let’s explore more about what you need to know for yourself and your family.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, can last for several seconds to a minute and occur multiple times throughout the night. There are two primary types of sleep apnea:

obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA is the most common form, caused by the relaxation of throat muscles that block the airway, whereas CSA is due to the brain failing to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.

What You Need to Know About OSA

One of the most alarming aspects of sleep apnea is that many individuals suffering from it are unaware of their condition. Snoring is a common symptom, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Other warning signs include:

  •     Excessive daytime sleepiness
  •     Morning headaches
  •     Difficulty concentrating
  •     Irritability

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more severe consequences, such as cardiovascular problems, hypertension, diabetes, and even an increased risk of accidents due to impaired alertness.

How Your Bend Dentist Handles Sleep Apnea

At Ponderosa Dental Center, Dr. Benjamin De Graff and team understand the critical relationship between oral health and overall well-being. Our team is trained to recognize potential signs of sleep apnea during routine dental visits, such as observing the effects of teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism, which is often associated with sleep apnea. We take a holistic approach to dental care, focusing not only on oral health but also on the well-being of the entire body.

If you experience symptoms indicative of sleep apnea, your dentist in Bend will:

  •     Manually and visually evaluate your head, neck, mouth, and jaw structure looking for imbalance or irregularities.
  •     We may also use our Cone Beam scanner to take a look at your anatomy and see what may be leading to your obstruction.
  •     To keep things super convenient, we offer take-home sleep studies. That means you can be measured for sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea at home, in your own bed, where measurements will be most accurate. You will not be billed for this service. Instead, we bill your medical insurance.
  •     Once your sleep study results are entered into the system, a board-certified sleep physician will evaluate the results and confirm or deny the presence of sleep apnea.
  •     If your sleep apnea is severe, we will refer you to a sleep center or to your own primary care physician for the prescription of a CPAP.
  •     If your sleep apnea is mild to moderate, or if you know you are unable to tolerate a CPAP device, we can prescribe a custom-made mandibular advancement appliance to hold your jaw in the ideal position and allow you to breathe correctly throughout the night.

OSA or sleep apnea is a condition that demands attention and proper management to protect overall health and wellbeing. Ponderosa Dental Center is dedicated to raising awareness about this disorder and providing patients with comprehensive care options. By addressing sleep apnea through a collaborative approach, your reliable Bend dentist aims to help individuals achieve better sleep and improved quality of life. Remember, good sleep is not a luxury—it’s a necessity for a healthier and happier you. Schedule your consultation today!