If you get full nights of sleep and wake up tired or are known to snore, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing stops for several seconds repeatedly. It deprives the body of oxygen and can lead to serious health conditions, such as hypertension, constant headaches, daily fatigue, and depression.
The three leading causes of sleep apnea are aging, sex, and body mass index. These causes increase the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common kind of sleep apnea. Fortunately, with the aid of custom dental devices like Silent Nite, there is non-surgical relief for those with sleep apnea.
1. Age and Sleep Apnea
Age is one of the primary causes of sleep apnea because the collapsibility of the upper airway increases with age. Physiologically, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat and tissue surrounding the throat, like the tongue, roof of the mouth, and tonsils, rub together and obstruct the airway.
Several muscles are responsible for controlling the soft palate and stopping it from blocking your airway. Older age, independent of gender and body mass index, has been found to reduce soft palate muscle strength and control.
2. Sex and Sleep Apnea
Research suggests that men are more prone to sleep apnea than women. It is not completely understood why, but research suggests it is due to natural fat distribution.
Men naturally have more fat around the neck and jaw area and a 30% heavier tongue than women. The increase in fat deposits in these areas compresses the airways, leading to obstructive sleep apnea.
3. Body Mass Index
The chance of developing sleep apnea increases with your body mass index. There are a few reasons why this is but adipose tissue in the upper airway is thought to be a primary factor. The extra tissue increases the collapsibility of the airway and can reduce upper-airway muscle force.
Also, the severity of sleep apnea worsens with a higher body mass index. Severity is quantified in both the number of sleep apnea disruptions per hour and the length of the disruptions. More frequent and longer-lasting disruptions are linked to an increased likelihood of a heart attack.
Minimally Invasive Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Traditionally, sleep apnea is treated with surgery and sleeping aid devices like a CPAP machine. While these work for some, they are invasive processes that many people would prefer to avoid. If you are looking for another option, consider a Silent Nite dental device.
With the Silent Nite, your dentist takes a custom mold of your mouth and creates a device that looks like a mouth guard for when you sleep. The Silent Nite slightly moves the lower jaw forward to open the airway and minimize airway collapse. Since it is a custom fit, the device is comfortable for a full night’s sleep.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep With TruBlu Dentistry
Contact TruBlu Dentistry to talk with a dentist about your sleep apnea. We can create a custom Silent Nite treatment to help you breathe more easily and get more restorative rest.