It is estimated that more than 18 million people in the United States suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. For many, the situation remains untreated. When tissues in the back of the throat collapse and block the airway, oxygen stops being delivered to the brain and heart. The oxygen deprivation causes the individual to wake up to start breathing again.
The two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea, the most commonly occurring form, and central sleep apnea. The main warning signs of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Extreme sleepiness during the day
- Interruptions in breathing which are followed by gasping
- Persistent snoring
- Morning headaches
- Breathing through the mouth when sleeping
- Other symptoms of sleep apnea may include frequent urination through the night, lack of concentration, depression, irritability, and increased sensitivity to pain
Individuals with sleep apnea may awaken hundreds of times during the night.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Beyond the obvious potential impact on health associated with lack of sleep, headaches and other ailments, the physical process that occurs in people with sleep apnea increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Sleep apnea is also associated with hypertension, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, nocturnal angina, hypothyroidism, abnormal heart rhythm, and increased risk for accidents.
Dr. Mark A. Cruz, a Doctor of Dental Surgery serving patients in Dana Point, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Juan, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, and South Orange County, is a recognized author, researcher, lecturer, and leader in advanced dentistry and airway-centric health. A co-creator of the Multi-Disciplinary Airway Collaborative, Dr. Cruz works with a network of healthcare specialists to diagnose and treat sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing conditions. Assessment of facio-skeletal development, tooth wear, tongue position, mouth breathing, and excess tissue may determine whether a patient may be experiencing sleep apnea. Additional diagnostics include high-resolution pulse oximetry and sleep studies.
Working with a team of doctors, Dr. Cruz develops custom-tailored treatment plans, which may involve oral medical appliances, surgery, or CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment.
If you or a loved one are concerned about sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing conditions, contact the knowledgeable dental team at Mark A. Cruz, DDS, located at 32241 Crown Valley Parkway in Dana Point, CA, today. Our office phone number is (949) 661-1006.