Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder where you stop breathing repeatedly. As a result, you often wake up feeling tired, even with a sufficient amount of sleep.
The three main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, occurring when your throat muscles relax while you sleep, causing an obstruction in your airways.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Besides feeling tired after a full night of sleep, you may also experience symptoms like:
- Loud snoring
- Waking abruptly
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent dry mouth or sore throat
While stopping breathing can be dangerous in itself — even proving fatal if left untreated — sleep apnea can also result in long-term health complications, like high blood pressure, heart problems, and type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea and loud snoring can also be highly disruptive to your partner, causing them many hours of lost sleep.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Dr. Hukmani performs a thorough evaluation of your airways and your jaw alignment. He also reviews your symptoms and assesses your level of daytime fatigue.
Since snoring is a key indicator of the condition, it can help to have your partner provide additional information about your sleep habits, including pauses in breath throughout the night.
What treatment options are available for sleep apnea?
Dr. Hukmani creates a custom treatment plan — based on the results of his evaluation — for your airways and jaw position. Typically, he recommends a mouth appliance that you wear while sleeping to support your jaw and open your airways.
This mouth appliance is custom made to fit your mouth comfortably. This orthodontic appliance positions your jaw forward to ensure your airways are open while you sleep, and can also help reduce the effects of wear and tear on your teeth if you’re prone to clenching and grinding at night.
For significant jaw or teeth alignment issues contributing to sleep apnea, Dr. Hukmani may recommend braces as a more effective solution to treating alignment problems.
To learn more about available treatments for sleep apnea, contact Dr. Hukmani’s office.