3 Types of Sleep Apnea and How to Treat Them

Most everyone snores occasionally, but for some people snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea. When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing while you’re asleep. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can be life threatening without treatment. 

Although you may not immediately think of your dentist as the right professional to treat a sleep disorder, the experts at Just For Your Smile have deep knowledge of sleep apnea and may be able to provide treatment that works for you. 

Not all sleep apnea is the same

Regardless of the type of sleep apnea you have, it involves multiple pauses in breathing while you’re sleeping. The pauses are called apneas, and they happen because your airway is temporarily blocked in some way. There are three different types of sleep apnea: 

Obstructive sleep apnea

This is the most common type of sleep apnea. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the tissue at the back of your throat relaxes too much and blocks your airway while you’re asleep. 

Central sleep apnea

Your brain sends signals to keep you breathing even when you’re asleep. With central sleep apnea, that process doesn’t work as it should. 

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

This type of sleep apnea is sometimes called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. If you have symptoms of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, you may be diagnosed with complex syndrome sleep apnea. 

Untreated sleep apnea

Don’t ignore sleep apnea because the consequences can be severe. Some of the effects of untreated sleep apnea include: 

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, you should visit Just For Your Smile for an evaluation and treatment.

Self-diagnosis is not recommended

Unfortunately, you can’t self-diagnose sleep apnea. You need a health exam, a health history, and testing either in a sleep lab or at home with your doctor’s directions. While you can’t diagnose yourself, you can pay attention to any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea and discuss them with your doctor. 

Some of the symptoms to watch out for include: 

At Just For Your Smile, we offer custom-fitted oral appliances that can help you continue breathing while you’re asleep, and we work with your medical team to make sure your treatment is appropriate for you. 

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, book an appointment by phone or online at one of our two convenient locations in Vienna, Virginia, and Potomac, Maryland. 

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