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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) refers to a blockage of the upper airway during sleep that causes you to stop breathing periodically. Most people stop breathing momentarily a few times during sleep. This is normal. In sleep apnea, breathing stops for at least ten seconds more often than it should. Your dentist might recommend an at-home sleep study test to gauge whether or not you should be referred to a sleep specialist by seeing how mild, moderate, or severe your sleep apnea might be. From there, it is possible your dentist could have a sleep appliance made for you.
If your dentist sent you home with an ApneaLink™ Air sleep study device by ResMed, follow this link for step by step instructions on how to use » ApneaLink Air by ResMed
Obstruction of the upper airway usually occurs when the base of the tongue presses against the soft palate as you sleep. Because air cannot enter the lungs, the blood oxygen level falls below normal. At this point your brain will tell you to wake up, which you will then do, with a loud snore. As soon as you wake up, the muscle tone in the upper airway and the tongue returns to normal. You begin breathing as you usually do. This cycle repeats when you go back to sleep.
In mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the cycle of apnea and normal breathing occurs only a few times during the night. In severe cases the cycle may repeat several hundred times.
As a result of the constant nighttime breathing stoppages, patients often begin to suffer from a number of symptoms directly related to sleep apnea.
•bruxism (grinding your teeth)
•excessive daytime tiredness
•high blood pressure
•obesity (weight gain)
•large neck circumference
•anatomic abnormalities/facial deformities
•enlarged tonsils & adenoids
Click here for videos pertaining to sleep apnea on our page » Dental Sleep Medicine
Please visit our website www.daytondentalsleepmedicine.com/ for further information regarding sleep apnea.