Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur multiple times per hour. Common symptoms include loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, and restless sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, caused by the relaxation of throat muscles, and central sleep apnea, caused by a lack of respiratory effort. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is a standard treatment for sleep apnea, which involves wearing a mask that delivers a steady flow of air to keep the airway open during sleep, thereby improving breathing and quality of sleep. Our dentist in Richardson, TX, can also offer alternative treatments depending on the patient’s specific needs and condition.

The benefits of treating sleep apnea include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved daytime alertness and cognitive function, and better overall quality of life. Additionally, CPAP therapy can help alleviate symptoms such as snoring and morning headaches, leading to better sleep for the affected individual and their bed partner.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a prevalent sleep disorder, can arise from various causes and is primarily categorized into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA typically results from physical obstructions in the upper airway, often due to excess throat tissue, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a recessed chin, or a large tongue. These anatomical abnormalities contribute to airway blockages when throat muscles relax during sleep, leading to recurrent breathing interruptions and fragmented sleep patterns.  

On the other hand, CSA stems from disruptions in the brain's respiratory control centers, which fail to send appropriate signals to the breathing muscles, resulting in pauses in respiration. CSA can be associated with underlying medical conditions such as heart failure, stroke, brainstem injury, or neurological disorders. Identifying the specific cause of sleep apnea is essential for developing personalized treatment approaches to alleviate symptoms and improve sleep quality and overall health outcomes.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The primary treatment for sleep apnea, particularly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), involves Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP therapy utilizes a machine that delivers a steady stream of air through a mask worn over the nose or both the nose and mouth during sleep. This continuous airflow helps keep the airway open, preventing collapses and maintaining standard breathing patterns throughout the night. CPAP therapy effectively reduces the frequency and severity of apneas and improves sleep quality and daytime symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. 

For individuals who are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy or have certain anatomical or medical factors contributing to their sleep apnea, our dentist at Kelly Halverson DDS FAGD, can provide alternative treatments. These may include oral appliances that help reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open, surgery to remove excess tissue or correct anatomical abnormalities in the throat or nasal passages, lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, avoidance of alcohol and sedatives, and positional therapy to encourage sleeping on the side rather than the back.

Treatment decisions are typically tailored to each individual's needs. They may involve a multidisciplinary approach involving sleep specialists, respiratory therapists, dentists, and surgeons to optimize outcomes and improve overall quality of life. Contact us to explore various options for financing your dental treatments.

Sleep Apnea Home Treatment

Home treatment for sleep apnea often focuses on lifestyle modifications and positional therapy to alleviate symptoms and improve sleep quality. One effective home remedy is adjusting the sleeping position, as sleeping on the side rather than the back can help prevent airway obstruction and reduce the frequency of apneas.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can decrease the severity of sleep apnea, as excess weight is a significant risk factor. Avoiding alcohol and sedatives, particularly before bedtime, can also help throat muscles relax less, reducing the likelihood of airway collapse during sleep.

Lastly, practicing good sleep hygiene, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and limiting exposure to electronic devices before bedtime, can promote better sleep quality and overall well-being for individuals with sleep apnea. However, it's crucial for those experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance on suitable home treatment strategies tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.

Before and After Sleep Apnea Treatment

Before undergoing treatment for sleep apnea, individuals may experience disruptive sleep patterns characterized by frequent pauses in breathing or shallow breathing episodes during sleep, often accompanied by loud snoring. These breathing interruptions can lead to fragmented sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and irritability.

Moreover, untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of various health complications, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Individuals with sleep apnea may experience symptoms such as morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat upon waking, difficulty concentrating, and decreased cognitive function.

After receiving treatment for sleep apnea in Richardson, TX, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or other interventions, individuals often experience significant improvements in sleep quality and daytime symptoms. Sleep apnea treatments help keep the airway open during sleep, reducing or eliminating breathing interruptions and snoring. As a result, individuals may experience more restful and uninterrupted sleep, leading to increased energy levels, improved cognitive function, and enhanced mood during the day.

Moreover, effective sleep apnea treatment can reduce the risk of associated health complications, improving overall cardiovascular health and quality of life. With proper management and adherence to treatment, individuals can enjoy better sleep and better health outcomes, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being and quality of life.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or are experiencing symptoms such as loud snoring, daytime fatigue, or morning headaches, it's crucial to seek medical evaluation promptly. Visit Kelly Halverson DDS FAGD at 1001 Buckingham Rd #104, Richardson, TX 75081, or call (972) 238-9626 to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards better sleep and better health.


1001 Buckingham Rd #104,
Richardson, TX 75081

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MON9:00 am - 2:30 pm

TUE - THU9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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