Daly City obstructive sleep apnea sufferers can turn to their dentist for relief
Millions of Americans suffer from a serious, potentially life-threatening condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is characterized by episodes during which breathing stops entirely for 10 seconds or longer when a person is sleeping. These episodes can occur from 30 to hundreds of times per night. Many people in Daly City and across the nation are surprised to learn that their dentist may be able to provide comfortable, effective treatment for this disorder.
Signs of sleep apnea
- Loud snoring that is interrupted repeatedly by pauses in breathing followed by gasping for breath or choking is the primary and most significant indicator of obstructive sleep apnea
- General lethargy or fatigue
- Daytime sleepiness, unintentionally dozing off during the day
- Morning headaches, sore throat, or dry mouth
- Irritability or depression and difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
Although many people do not consider snoring as anything more than an annoyance, if it is accompanied by any of the above, it may be a sign of a serious condition. A medical professional should be consulted for an accurate diagnosis.
Potential complications arising from sleep apnea
Cardiovascular – The sudden drop in oxygen levels in the blood that occurs during an episode raises blood pressure each time it happens and puts stress on the cardiovascular system.
Medications – Narcotic analgesics and sedatives cause the upper airway to relax, which can make obstructive sleep apnea worse.
Surgery – After lying on their back while sedated, sleep apnea sufferers might have worse problems breathing and could be at an increased risk of post-surgical complications.
Eye problems – Some studies have found a link between sleep apnea and specific eye conditions, including glaucoma.
The most common treatment prescribed for obstructive sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a device that keeps the airway open by delivering constant air through a mask. Although effective, patient compliance with this system is low due to discomfort and inconvenience.
Fortunately, many patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea can find relief through a comfortable, convenient dental appliance similar to a retainer that positions the jaw or tongue to keep the airway open.
Dr. Arellano and his team help many patients in Daly City and the surrounding areas sleep well at night with some suggestions for lifestyle changes and a simple oral appliance.
Call 415-881-4343 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Arellano.