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Sleep Apnea

John D. Michalak, DMD

General Dentist located in Branford, CT

If your family constantly complains about your loud snoring or you find yourself constantly tired throughout the day, you may have a condition known as sleep apnea. Dr. John D. Michalak offers sleep apnea evaluations at his Branford, Connecticut, dental practice to ensure you’re breathing properly during sleep and not compromising your health. To learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, book an appointment online or by phone.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that develops when your upper airway repeatedly blocks while you’re sleeping. This blockage causes you to have reduced or stopped airflow and is known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Another type of sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send signals for your body to breathe during sleep. This condition is known as central sleep apnea.

What causes sleep apnea?

There are a number of factors that can lead to sleep apnea, including existing medical conditions and the physical makeup of your body. Common causes of sleep apnea include:

  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Obesity
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • Kidney or heart disease

If you have genetic issues, like cleft palate, or were born prematurely, you may be at increased risk for developing sleep apnea. Other risk factors for the condition include unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, and your age.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Dr. Michalak discusses your symptoms, including loud snoring, gasping for air while sleeping, daytime fatigue, concentration issues, dry mouth, and frequently waking during the night. He can evaluate the structure of your mouth to determine if it influences how you breathe when sleeping.

To learn more about your sleep habits, Dr. Michalak can refer you to a sleep specialist for a professional sleep study.

What treatment options are available for sleep apnea?

There are several treatment options Dr. Michalak may recommend to help you breathe more efficiently during sleep. These treatments include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Breathing devices
  • Facial muscles therapy

Dr. Michalak can also provide you with a custom-fit mouthpiece that you wear during the night. These devices can help keep your jaw in place or hold your tongue forward to prevent blockage of your upper airway.

What are the risks for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can increase the likelihood that you may develop other medical conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Eye diseases
  • Metabolic disorders

These conditions can be brought on by the low blood oxygen levels that occur in your body with obstructive sleep disorder. Your brain will trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response that increases your heart rate and blood pressure and prevents you from getting adequate rest.

Sleep apnea can also cause inflammation that leads to a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels. This increases your risk of strokes and heart attacks. Chronic inflammation can also damage your pancreas and lead to Type 2 diabetes.

Schedule an evaluation online or by phone to learn more.