Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep. This allows for soft tissue to collapse and block your airway which results in reduced oxygen levels. The lack of airflow can last only a few seconds or up to a few minutes. These low oxygen levels cause the body to wake up throughout the night to regain airflow and may result in snorting, gasping, or choking to restore oxygen levels. A person with sleep apnea may wake up an overage of 30 times an hour with no memory of it. Chronic low oxygen levels can cause irreversible brain damage, heart attack, and stroke.
Common causes of sleep apnea include a misaligned or small jaw, tongue with scalloped edges, excess body weight, or a narrow airway.
At Fairbanks Family Dental Care, we specialize in sleep dentistry and have various treatment options for those who are diagnosed with sleep apnea.