You probably think that if you regularly sleep for seven or eight hours, you are getting a good night’s rest. So, what explains your habitual tiredness first thing in the morning, and why does it continue throughout the workday? Do you nod off at your desk or even during a conversation with a colleague, and doze during meetings? If so, then you may be afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea. If you are tired all of the time, read on to see how to fix it.
Sleep Apnea Explained
When a person is asleep, the throat muscles naturally relax. However if they overdo the relaxation they can interfere with breathing. Breathing actually stops for up to a minute or more, until the brain sends a signal for breathing to continue. This can occur numerous times during the night, starving the body of oxygen, and making it impossible to enjoy quality sleep. If the pause in breathing lasts for ten seconds or longer, this is known as obstructive sleep apnea.
How Can a Dentist Help?
A dentist can provide a device to be worn at night to help prevent sleep apnea. The most commonly prescribed appliance is the Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). A MAD fits over the upper and lower dental arches, allowing the lower jaw to be eased forward and the muscles at the back of the throat to be less constricted. An alternative is the Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) which is used to hold the tongue in place and keep the airway open. These appliances are more comfortable alternatives to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices where a sleep apnea sufferer is forced to sleep wearing a facial mask and hooked up to a machine.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, make a dental appointment and learn how your dentist can assist you to sleep better. Please contact us for more information.
Are You Tired All of the Time? How to Fix it By a Visit to Your Dentist! – 313 Words