Sleep Apnea And Airway Restriction
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue and soft palate, temporarily relax. When these muscles relax, your airway is narrowed or closed, and breathing is momentarily cut off. This can not only cause irregular sleep and snoring, but can cause serious illnesses from lack of oxygen or even death, as in the sad case with Football Hall Of Fame lineman, Reggie White.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea are:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Loud snoring that is often punctuated by gasping or choking sounds.
- Headaches in the morning that may persist for several hours after waking up.
- Dry mouth upon awakening.
- Restless sleep with periods of wakefulness during the night.
Additional Airway Restrictions and Concerns:
In addition to just sleep apnea, over the last several years it has become apparent that airway conditions need to be a part of the contemporary dental practice. At Smiles By Dr. Gibson we have incorporated an airway-related analyses to patient assessment in our practice which has changed the way we see our patients. This has completely changed the scope in which we can contribute to their overall health care of our patients.
In the past, dental practices have been somewhat myopic, limiting our focus to oral disease, function, cosmetics and malocclusion management. The future of dentistry necessitates that we also identify and address underlying craniofacial risk factors and subsequent airway problems in order to create sustainable health conditions for our patients.
Once we do a complete airway analysis, we can then work together to include wearing an appliance or variable alternative options to help insure your dental and general health is safe and optimizing your body’s oxygen levels and safe measures.