Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes you to have one or more pauses in your breathing or experience shallow breaths while you sleep. The pauses in your breathing can last anywhere from a few seconds to as long as a few minutes. This staggered breathing causes a constant disruption that moves you in and out of a restful sleep. Many patients who suffer from sleep apnea often feel exhausted even after they have slept all night long.
A lot of patients who suffer from sleep apnea do not know that they have the condition. You may have sleep apnea if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Headaches in the morning
- Exhaustion after a full night’s rest
- Restless sleeping patterns
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a polysomnogram test, also known as a sleep study, which records specific physical activities while you sleep. These tests can be performed either at a sleep center or your home. Some patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea can personally treat their condition at home by utilizing dental devices or changing their behaviors. But still, some sleep apnea cases are only solved through a surgical procedure performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
You may benefit from the surgical treatment of sleep apnea if
- Your sleep apnea cannot be corrected with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, alcohol avoidance, smoking cessation, or side sleeping.
- You experience discomfort or pain utilizing mouthpieces.
- You do not experience success or feel uncomfortable utilizing breathing devices, such as the CPAP machine.
If your doctor determines that your sleep apnea is best treated through surgery, you will have an initial consultation with one of our skilled surgeons to determine the best method of surgical treatment. The surgeon will widen your breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the position of the lower jaw. Your procedure may be performed in our office or a hospital depending on the severity of your condition.
If you think that your sleep apnea problems are severe enough for surgical intervention, or you have received a referral from another physician, and you want to enjoy the benefits of a sound night’s sleep, please call us at Pikes Peak Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. Dr. Kunkel and his highly trained staff are happy to assist you throughout the process and offer a solution to your sleepless nights. Please call us today to set up an initial consultation.