Dental Sleep Medicine | Austin TX
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow. This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness. Dr. Pharr, Dr. Mendez and Dr. Snober will COLLABORATE WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN and fabricate a dental appliance that aids in the treatment of sleep apnea and sleep-disorder breathing.
What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of apnea, and it is caused when soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep and blocks the airway. Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain fails to send a signal to the muscles to breathe. This can happen due to an unstable respiratory control center.
Symptoms and Signs of OSA
Many people don’t know that they have sleep apnea. They come to see us because of a partner’s concern about their snoring and breathing, or they are experiencing these otherwise unexplained symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Excessive sleepiness
- Irritability and attention issues
Sleep Apnea Treatment
As prosthodontists, Drs. Pharr, Mendez and Snober are uniquely qualified to provide patients with this service. A prosthodontist is extensively trained in the fabrication of oral prosthetics and also receives extra training with regard to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which also plays a major role in oral appliance therapy for sleep-disorder breathing. Dr. Pharr is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
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