For the unaware, sleep apnea is one of those ailments that affect others’ lives, but doesn’t affect you, so you can ignore it. Those intimately acquainted with sleep apnea, however, are likely to be infuriated by any mention of it. If you or someone you know is afflicted with sleep apnea, they’ll tell you that it affects everyone involved: from the sufferer themselves to anyone they share a bed with, even to others in the house, if the problem is bad enough.  Sleep apnea and snoring go hand in hand, as we will see, and the result of this can be terrible for the sleep apnea patient, and their loved ones. Luckily, there are several options for sleep apnea treatment. We will look into the causes of sleep apnea, as well as some of the sleep apnea appliances available to deal with this issue, as part of holistic health and dental approach.   

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder during which a person, while fast asleep, either stops breathing or endures periods of extremely shallow breathing. Not only is this condition loud and noisy for those sleeping around the sleep apnea sufferer, but it is also incredibly disruptive to the sufferer since the lack of breathing interrupts a normal sleep cycle. This leaves sleep apnea sufferers tired and lackadaisical throughout their days, seriously hampering their quality of life. 

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and each person’s path to it is usually quite unique. Sleep apnea is the effect of many primary risk factors, springing from many different avenues of ill health. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:
  • obesity
  • being male
  • being elderly
  • a family history of sleep apnea
  • relaxed throat muscles due to alcohol or sedatives
  • congested nasal passages, and heart disorders or stroke history
While these causes are wide-ranging, from personal health to genetic and lifestyle factors, there are several effective sleep apnea treatment options, to fulfill the holistic health and dental requirements necessary for peaceful and restful sleep. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

While there is a wealth of sleep apnea devices on the market, one commonality is called positive airway pressure, or PAP, therapy. PAP therapy involves a stream of air pumped through a face mask. This helps to support the throat and airways to stop the snoring and breathing cessation that occurs when there isn’t enough structural integrity to the airways. For a deeper dive into the PAP sleep therapy options available, including the differences between various machines, check out this overview guide. If this kind of intrusive airway opening doesn’t feel right for you, there are other options. One of these is the holistic dentistry option, employed by your Tacoma dentistry specialists at Plancich Dental. Using a custom appliance that aligns the upper and lower jaw while sleeping, this treatment option is less intrusive and helps you get your sleep schedule back on track.  If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea and would like to pursue the holistic dental treatment options we offer, contact Plancich Dental today!