Tag Archives: custom mouthguard

Sleep Apnea Affects Immune System: Is Your Immune System at Risk?

Let’s talk about how sleep apnea affects immune system … Are you going to bed every night, but waking up feeling cranky, tired, and drowsy? You may not be getting as much sleep as you think you are, and you definitely aren’t alone. Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from this chronic condition.

Sleep Apnea is an extremely common problem that makes it very difficult to get a healthy amount of sleep at night. When we don’t get enough sleep, our entire body suffers for it and our immune system can also be at risk.

Sleep apnea explained HERE by The Mayo Clinic.

Effects on the Body

When we do sleep well, our body releases proteins called cytokines. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”

Common symptoms of sleep apnea often include:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble paying attention/focus
  • Sore throat in the mornings
  • Dry mouth

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Symptoms: Can it be treated?

How Sleep Apnea Works

Sleep apnea causes your breathing to pause while sleeping. Repeated breathing pauses occur when your muscles relax while sleeping, as soft tissue collapses and blocks the airway and reduces your oxygen levels. When this happens, your body’s natural reaction is to wake up so you can resume breathing normally.

So, when we’re waking up throughout the night due to breathing interruptions, you’ll be left feeling tired the next day. However, sleep apnea can cause more than just tiredness and irritability. If left untreated, sleep apnea affects immune system issues and has been linked to cause problems, such as:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Acid reflux
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Other long-term health risks

Related Articles:

Learn More about the link between autoimmune diseases and sleep apnea HERE.

GPS Dental Can Help

Research does show that using an oral appliance, or mouthguard, is a helpful and effective treatment for sleep apnea. Your mouth guard only has to be worn when sleeping, and will support your jaw and open up your airway to stop any breathing interruptions.

At GPS Dental, we have helped many patients suffering from sleep apnea for several years now and look to continue doing so as the annual number of sleep apnea suffers within the U.S. continues to increase. If this sounds like you, come see us here at GPS Dental as by visiting our offices, Dr. Skrobanek can assess your sleep apnea and determine if the MAD appliance is right for you!

Related Article: How GPS Can Help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Many dental insurance companies cover mouth guards, and it’s a wonderful option for keeping your immune system healthy and getting a good night’s rest. Learn about Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio.

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio

Read more sleep apnea blogs by GPS Dental.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Are You Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

Did you know that Bruxism is a condition where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth, according to The Mayo Clinic? Not only does this mean you may clench your teeth while you’re awake, but it also means you grind your teeth at night. When you grind at night, it’s also known as sleep bruxism. If you do this, you’re also prone to other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring. Although mild cases of bruxism may not require treatment, more severe cases of bruxism can cause headaches, jaw problems, damaged teeth, and more. 

Learn More about Bruxism from Mayo Clinic HERE.  

Bruxism Causes – What We Know 

Now that we know what Bruxism is, it’s important to look at some of the probable causes. Stress is a major factor in teeth grinding/clenching. When our levels of stress have peaked, we may not even know we’re clenching or grinding until we see our dentist or notice that we’re doing it. According to Mayo Clinic, stress isn’t the only factor for Bruxism.

Additional Bruxism factors include:

  • Anger, frustration, and stress
  • Age – Sometimes Bruxism is prevalent in children, but can be outgrown into adulthood
  • Personality type – some aggressive personality types can increase the risk
  • Family members who also experience bruxism
  • Medications – Alcohol, tobacco use, and certain medications can increase the risk
  • Other disorders – Bruxism has been associated with other disorders, such as sleep apnea, mental health disorders, dementia, etc. 

Stress and Oral Health

Can stress cause harm to your teeth? Unfortunately, the answer is yes and we know there is a dental health mental health link. Just like how stress can affect most areas of your body and your mental wellbeing, it can also impact your oral health. When your mind feels strained and out-of-control, your whole body can feel it as well.

Though it may not be widely known, anxiety and stress can cause patients to clench their jaw and grind their teeth often, and this can result in cracked teeth or inflamed gums. With the additional stress and tension that most Americans are dealing with, many dentists have stated that they’re busier than ever with repairing fractured teeth multiple times a week or even every day.

What are the side effects and complications of teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding can lead to a variety of side effects, including:

  • headaches
  • pain in the jaw, face, and ears
  • wearing down and flattening of teeth
  • loose or painful teeth
  • cracked, damaged, or fractured teeth
  • breakage of fillings and crowns

In extreme cases, problems chewing, speaking, and swallowing may also occur. You may not realize you grind your teeth until symptoms appear.

The risk of complications from teeth grinding may increase if you have untreated bruxism for an extended period of time. Long-term complications may include:

  • chronic ear and headache pain
  • facial muscle enlargement
  • damage to teeth that requires dental procedures, such as dental bonding, filling, crowns, or bridges
  • temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)

Teeth Grinding Spike

We’ve all experienced new levels of stress and, at times, have to adapt to new surroundings, procedures, and more. It’s been a lot to take in, to say the least. According to The New York Times, there are three major components to tooth fractures and mental health, and those are:

  • Working from home. If you’re used to working in an office setting, you may find it difficult to find the best place to work at home. You may not have the space for a desk and ergonomic office chair that helps you maintain a good posture. Believe it or not, bad posture and strain on your body throughout the day is a big contributor to teeth grinding.
  • Insomnia and restlessness. Many people are experiencing restlessness and anxiety when trying to sleep at night during the pandemic. When you’re not experiencing restorative sleep, your body goes into its “fight or flight” response, which often leads to grinding the teeth.
  • Not seeing your dentist. You might forget to check in for your cleaning appointment and see your dentist. It’s so important to visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning every six months, especially if you think you may be grinding your teeth.

What to Do to Stop Bruxism

At GPS Dental, we can set you up with a mouth guard to protect your teeth and jaw from any grinding at night. This mouthguard will be made specifically for your mouth, so the fit is perfect. If your Bruxism is linked to stress, then there are some stress-reduction techniques you can try as well, including: 

  1. Meditation: Meditation may help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety, pain, and depression. Try downloading a meditation app or joining a meditation group. Meditation takes practice. It may be best used in conjunction with other treatments, too. 
  2. Yoga: Another key benefit of yoga is that it helps with stress. Accumulation of stress can cause your nervous system to be constantly in overdrive, making it difficult to unwind, focus, and sleep. The breathing exercises you practice during yoga can help lower your heart rate and shift your nervous system into a more relaxed state. It also promotes better sleep and increased focus.
  3. Talk therapy: Talking to a therapist, counselor, or trusted friend may help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. If your stress is affecting your daily life, a psychiatrist may also prescribe medications to help reduce stress and anxiety, if needed.
  4. Exercise: Exercise also reduces stress by producing feel-good endorphins. If you’re new to exercise, start slow. Try building daily activity into your life at first. You may also need to explore a variety of activities to find one that helps you relax.

Related Article: Custom Mouthguards can Help Sleep Apnea

You can also try tongue and jaw muscle exercises! This exercise is from Healthline.com and can help relax your facial muscles to reduce clenching. 

  • “Open your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth. This helps relax the jaw.”
  • “Say the letter “N” out loud. This will keep your top and bottom teeth from touching and help you avoid clenching.” 

When to seek help

If you know you are grinding your teeth, or if you suspect teeth clenching and grinding may be to blame for pain or other symptoms, see a dentist. They can examine your teeth for wear to determine if you grind them. They can also look at your bite and alignment.

Teeth grinding is a common condition with many possible causes. Treating it early is important to avoid significant dental complications. Your dentist and doctor are both good resources for diagnosing and treating bruxism. If you’re concerned about Bruxism or notice any signs, please contact us today! 

Solution for Grinding Your Teeth – Mouthguard

Dr. Skrobanek can help prevent cracked and fractured teeth by designing a mouthguard or oral appliance to wear at night to keep you from clenching and grinding your teeth. We know there’s a dental health mental health link and thankfully, mouthguards are a wonderful way to protect your teeth at night. They can also help with sleep apnea and snoring. Each mouthguard will be custom-made by Dr. Skrobanek to fit your mouth comfortably and will keep your teeth separated so they don’t grind together.

There’s more good news: Custom mouthguards or oral appliance therapy is covered by many insurance plans and the team at GPS Dental can help answer any questions you may have about your coverage.

Related Articles:

It’s also important to stay up to date on your cleanings and routine visits to your dentist. In the meantime, having a strong and steady oral health routine – brushing twice a day and flossing once – is the best thing you can do for your oral health!

More on Mouthguards from HealthLine.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Stress: The Mental Health Dental Health Link

Stress and Oral Health

Can stress cause harm to your teeth? Unfortunately, the answer is yes and we know there is a dental health mental health link. Just like how stress can affect most areas of your body and your mental wellbeing, it can also impact your oral health. When your mind feels strained and out-of-control, your whole body can feel it as well.

According to HealthGrades, here are 6 Ways Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health.

Though it may not be widely known, anxiety and stress can cause patients to clench their jaw and grind their teeth often, and this can result in cracked teeth or inflamed gums. With a worldwide pandemic going on, many dentists have stated that they’re busier than ever with repairing fractured teeth multiple times a week or even every day.

NY Times Article: More and More Cracked Teeth

Teeth Grinding Spike

Since the pandemic onset, we’ve all experienced new levels of normalcy, new levels of stress, and have had to adapt to completely new surroundings, procedures, and more. It’s been a lot to take in, to say the least. According to The New York Times, there are three major components to tooth fractures and mental health right now, and those are:

  • Working from home. If you’re used to working in an office setting, you may find it difficult to find the best place to work at home. You may not have the space for a desk and ergonomic office chair that helps you maintain a good posture. Believe it or not, bad posture and strain on your body throughout the day is a big contributor to teeth grinding.
  • Insomnia and restlessness. Many people are experiencing restlessness and anxiety when trying to sleep at night during the pandemic. When you’re not experiencing restorative sleep, your body goes into its “fight or flight” response, which often leads to grinding the teeth.
  • Not seeing your dentist. Our day to day life is a whole different rhythm. Before, you could make appointments and keep to them, but now that isn’t so easy, and so you might forget to check in for your cleaning appointment and see your dentist. It’s so important to come in and see your dentist, especially if you think you may be grinding your teeth. Dental offices are safe to return to and take every precaution to keep you safe and healthy.

USA Today Article: The Pandemic Has Taken a Toll on Mental Health

Solution for Teeth Grinding – Mouthguard

Dr. Skrobanek can help prevent cracked and fractured teeth by designing a mouthguard or oral appliance to wear at night to keep you from grinding and clenching teeth. We know there’s a dental health mental health link and thankfully, mouthguards are a wonderful way to protect your teeth at night. They can also help with sleep apnea and snoring. Each mouthguard will be custom-made by Dr. Skrobanek to fit your mouth comfortably and will keep your teeth separated so they don’t grind together.

Related Articles:

Get Some Sleep: Custom Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea

Custom Mouthguards Help Sleep Apnea

It’s also important to stay up to date on your cleanings and routine visits to your dentist. In the meantime, having a strong and steady oral health routine – brushing twice a day and flossing once – is the best thing you can do for your oral health!

More on Mouthguards from HealthLine.

It’s Safe to Visit Your Dentist Today!

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), no cases of COVID-19 have been attributed to any U.S. dental practices. This is a wonderful statistic for dental offices and shows how serious dental offices have taken their safety measures.

Related Article: Do You Need Your Teeth Cleaned? It’s Safe to Visit Your Dental Office

It’s safe and essential to visit your dentist’s office, and we take your health and safety very seriously. We can’t wait to see you soon! Please call today to schedule your next appointment.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment. 

Without Sleep Apnea Treatment, More Than Your Sleep Can Be Affected!

When you hear the term “sleep apnea”, do you immediately think of someone who snores loudly every night? (Does you think of your spouse too?) Disruptive and loud snoring is one of the tell-tale characteristics or symptoms of sleep apnea.

Without Sleep Apnea Treatment, More Than Your Sleep Can Be Affected! As sleep apnea is a dangerous and chronic disorder that if left untreated, may increase the risk of developing additional issues such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • complications during pregnancy
  • other health problems

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic and relatively common disorder in which the sufferer will experience shallow or frequent pauses in breathing during an average night’s sleep.

The Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Signs of sleep apnea are frequently indicated by:

  • explicitly loud snoring and/or breathing
  • insomnia and poor sleep
  • simultaneously experiencing progressively shallow wheezing
  • irregular breathing
  • frequent lapses in breathing patterns during sleep
  • frequent tiredness
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating while awake

Related Article: 10 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

Because these signs seem annoying to the sufferer and their sleeping partner, most people don’t realize they’re actually a much more serious health concern that may bring additional complications.

What happens to your body when you sleep (or try to sleep)?

As you rest, your body becomes less tense because your muscles relax. Sleep is the time when your body heals and repairs itself to prepare you for the following day. However, sleeping for some can be problematic especially for those with sleep apnea, because it limits their ability to rest and restore their bodies properly.

Primary symptoms of the disorder are irregular breathing, excessive snoring, and occasional breaks or pauses in breathing, which occur due to the complete relaxation of the throat muscles or airway blockage.

Other symptoms may include:

  • constant fatigue
  • depression
  • chronic headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • complications during pregnancy

If these symptoms are left dismissed, and sleep apnea persists, heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, death, and other serious health issues can result.

It may even be indicative of other serious underlying health issues such as:

  • diabetes
  • neurological illness
  • mental illness
  • heart disease

Related Article: Signs of Sleep Apnea: The Bedtime Battle

What Are Sleep Apnea Causes?

The overall success in treating sleep apnea remains relatively high; however, the rate of success depends heavily on finding the exact cause of the disorder and selecting the best method of treatment.

Various causes can contribute to sleep apnea. However, one of the most common causes of this disorder is obesity; as fat deposits that accumulate around the neck place pressure on the throat, limiting the body’s ability to breathe sufficiently. Large tonsils are also a cause of sleep apnea as they tend to obstruct the passage of air into and out of the body.

Other sleep apnea causes include premature births and genetic syndromes that impact facial structures such as congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. Heart and kidney failure, PCOS, hypothyroidism, and conditions that interfere with the brain’s signals can also contribute to a person’s development of sleep apnea.

Related Article: How Would You Know if You Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

Big Three: Types of Sleep Apnea

While usually following a similar pattern, identifying and classifying your specific type of sleep apnea is indeed a crucial part of resolving the disorder, as sleep apnea can have multiple causes, and can manifest itself in several different variations.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Obstructive sleep (or OSA) apnea is without doubt, the most common form of sleep apnea, as it affects approximately 3.6 million Americans today. However, despite such staggering statistics, it is believed that only 10% of those suffering from OSA recognize the symptoms and actively seek treatment for the condition, thereby leaving most suffers untreated.

Some of the signs and symptoms of OSA are:

  • Noticeably loud snoring
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive drowsiness or sleepiness throughout the day
  • Repeated shortness of breath (abrupt awakenings) while asleep

Generally, the root cause of OSA, is attributed to relaxation of muscles while asleep, during which the tongue may cause a partial blockage of a person’s airway.

Central Sleep Apnea:

As opposed to being something of a mechanical problem like OSA, central sleep apnea (or CSA) is more of a muscle signal or miscommunication problem that originates within the brainstem. Although considerably less prevalent than OSA, CSA should not be taken lightly as it may likely be indicative of serious underlying health issues such as heart failure or Parkinson’s disease.

Common symptoms of CSA may include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Snoring
  • Shortness of breath
  • Repeated abrupt awaking

With the central nervous system compromised, both voluntary and involuntary muscle movement becomes increasingly restricted, therefore causing interruptions in involuntary actions such as breathing. This can be particularly problematic during sleep, as the suffer may repeatedly experience abrupt awakenings while attempting to rest, as a natural reaction to the sudden lack of oxygen.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:

The final and as its name implies, most severe and advanced form of sleep apnea is complex or mixed sleep apnea syndrome. Complex sleep apnea (or perhaps more appropriately referred to as Mixed Sleep Apnea) is a combination for both OSA and CSA, and typically presents symptoms of both. Often in the cases of complex sleep apnea, a sufferer should seek immediate treatment as the standard of living with this condition may deteriorate rapidly. (e.g. going for too long without the adequate amount of sleep).

How Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?

Thanks to a combined effort from both professional dentistry as well as the general and specialized fields of orthodontic and respiratory therapy research, signs of sleep apnea can be identified and treated in several ways.

Mask or Mouth Guard? Finding the Right Solution for You 

Sleep Apnea Solution: CPAP Mask

There are treatments available to combat the difficulties of sleep apnea. One of the most common forms is the CPAP mask. A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine is used to deliver continuous air pressure to the throat, eliminating the blockage of breath that results when the throat collapses. This apparatus has proven to be beneficial for many sufferers of sleep apnea.

To combat and alleviate the various issues caused by sleep apnea, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, (better known as the “CPAP Mask”) was developed during the early 1980s. Being the only device of its kind at the time, the CPAP mask has been widely successful since its inception and continues to be the most commonly used therapy when treating the disorder.

Despite its undeniable success, the CPAP mask is not without its flaws as the cumbersome and somewhat awkward facial apparatus has been known to cause varying degrees of discomfort, thus leading to a less then desirable or even intolerable experience among some users.

Sleep Apnea Solution: Mouth Guard

For several years now, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (or CPAP mask) has been the “go to therapy” among sufferers of sleep apnea. While this device has proven itself as an extremely effective method of treatment, many people who suffer simply cannot tolerate the awkward and sometimes uncomfortable facial apparatus and may require an alternative type of treatment. Therefore, to accommodate patients with this issue, the dental community has developed a less invasive alternative treatment; a custom mouthguard!

A custom mouth guard closely resembles a sports mouth guard. A Mandibular Advancement Device, or a MAD mouthguard, is designed to realign the jaw. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, this device aids in preventing any obstruction of airflow. It provides better sleep and limits symptoms of loud snoring, wheezing, cessation of breathing, and other factors that impede a successful night’s rest.

While historically a mouthguard is best known for being an essential piece of equipment for athletes in various sports; however, more recently they have become known serving another important purpose. This purpose, (of course) is providing an alternative method in the ever-consistent battle against sleep apnea.

Used primarily in treating the much more common Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD mouthguard as its often called) is a night-time mouth guard that at first glance, resembles a standard sports mouth guard in general appearance.

However, unlike the sports mouth-guard, the unique MAD mouth guard is designed to shift forward and re-position your jaw, thus preventing the tongue (or anything else) from obstructing and blocking airflow. This not only reduces the signs of sleep apnea, including excessive snoring and wheezing during sleep, but also allows the sufferer to experience a much deeper and uninterrupted nightly rest, thus significantly improving the health and overall well being of the individual!

Related Article: Get Some Sleep: Custom Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea

GPS Dental Can Help Those with Sleep Apnea

At GPS Dental, we have helped many patients suffering from sleep apnea for several years now and look to continue doing so as the annual number of sleep apnea suffers within the U.S. continues to increase.

If this sounds like you, come see us here at GPS Dental as by visiting our offices, Dr. Skrobanek can assess your sleep apnea and determine if the MAD appliance is right for you!

Related Article: Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Antonio

Read more sleep apnea blogs by GPS Dental.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Get Some Sleep: Custom Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea

custom-mouthguard

Custom Mouthguards: Not Just for Sport!

For several years now, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (or CPAP mask) has been the “go to therapy” among sufferers of sleep apnea. While this device has proven itself as an extremely effective method of treatment, many people who suffer simply cannot tolerate the awkward and sometimes uncomfortable facial apparatus and may require an alternative type of treatment. Therefore, to accommodate patients with this issue, the dental community has developed a less invasive alternative treatment; a custom mouthguard!

We know that when one hears the term custom mouthguard, typically the first thing that comes to mind is protecting your teeth during sports. However, although they may look relatively similar to a sports mouthguard, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD as we call it) is a unique, nighttime mouthguard that fits directly over your upper and lower jaw. The purpose of the MAD is to pull forward and re-position your jaw into maintaining an unobstructed airway, hereby reducing snoring and drastically improving your breathing while you sleep.

While there are a growing number of patients who can attribute to the overall effectiveness of the MAD or custom mouthguard, perhaps few can attest to its prowess better than our own Genny Skrobanek!

As wife of Dr. Gary Skrobanek, Genny is certainly familiar with some of the recent innovations in dental technology, and how they can have a major impact on the lives of those whom they benefit. Previously Genny had shared with us, a personal experience in which she expressed how grateful she was her for husband’s oral appliance (or custom mouthguard), as Dr. Skrobanek himself was once a snorer! Genny also recalled her father’s snoring during her childhood, citing his ability to “wake up the whole house” with his persistently loud wheezing. Although, her father’s snoring issues have largely diminished since receiving his MAD appliance. While vacationing recently, Genny’s mother was awoken buy the sound of loud snoring, only to discover that instead of being able to blame her husband, the snoring was in fact hers!  Because of this, Genny’s mother knows it’s time to be fitted for a MAD appliance of her own!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Despite being a somewhat new term amongst the general public, sleep apnea is relatively common sleep disorder that affects many people across the globe. Often characterized by noticeably loud and disruptive snoring, sleep apnea is a chronic disorder in which the sufferer will experience shallow or frequent pauses in breathing during an average night’s sleep. Although initially appearing as little more than a nuisance and perhaps an issue amongst sleeping partners, sleep apnea can be a potentially serious health concern that may increase the risk of developing additional issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, complications during pregnancy, and a slew of additional problems.

Related Article: Wake UP Gary!!!Go Put in Your Mouthguard!!

The Big Three: The Different Types of Sleep Apnea

Although the disorder is classified as sleep apnea in a general sense, there are in fact three different variations of sleep apnea, and each of which may affect the sufferer in specific ways.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Obstructive sleep (or OSA) apnea is without doubt, the most common form of sleep apnea, as it affects approximately 3.6 million Americans today. However, despite such staggering statistics, it is believed that only 10% of those suffering from OSA recognize the symptoms and actively seek treatment for the condition, thereby leaving most suffers untreated.

Some of the signs and symptoms of OSA are:

  • Noticeably loud snoring
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive drowsiness or sleepiness throughout the day
  • Repeated shortness of breath (abrupt awakenings) while asleep

Generally, the root cause of OSA, is attributed to relaxation of muscles while asleep, during which the tongue may cause a partial blockage of a person’s airway.

  • Central Sleep Apnea:

As opposed to being something of a mechanical problem like OSA, central sleep apnea (or CSA) is more of a muscle signal or miscommunication problem that originates within the brainstem. Although considerably less prevalent than OSA, CSA should not be taken lightly as it may likely be indicative of serious underlying health issues such as heart failure or Parkinson’s disease.

Common symptoms of CSA may include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Snoring
  • Shortness of breath
  • Repeated abrupt awaking
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:

The final and as its name implies, most severe and advanced form of sleep apnea is complex or mixed sleep apnea syndrome. Complex sleep apnea is a combination for both OSA and CSA, and typically presents symptoms of both. Often in the cases of complex sleep apnea, a sufferer should seek immediate treatment as the standard of living with this condition may deteriorate rapidly. (e.g. going for too long without the adequate amount of sleep).

Custom Mouthguard: Get MAD … but not literally

As human beings, we are an active, intelligent, and highly successful species, however when robbed of the necessary amount of sleep, our bodies’ natural ability to function is severely hindered. Simply put, you NEED your sleep, and with an ongoing issue like sleep apnea, getting a goodnight’s sleep can be almost impossible!

While the CPAP machine remains the most effective tool in treating the more advanced cases of sleep apnea, (such as complex sleep apnea) if the machine doesn’t work for you, then maybe is time to get MAD! By visiting us at GPS Dental, Dr. Skrobanek can fit you with your very own customized MAD appliance. This custom mouthguard will be both durable and comfortable to use and is usually covered by most insurance plans.

Related Article: Brooks City Base Dentist: GPS Spotlight on Dr. Gary Skrobanek

Everyone deserves a goodnight’s sleep, so if the MAD custom mouthguard sounds like the right solution for your sleep apnea, come see us … we can help you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.