Life in San Diego, like other places in California and around the country, is relentlessly fast-paced. In the course of a day, each of us makes thousands of quick decisions. Many of these are trivial: “Boxers or briefs?”, “White or wheat?”, “Paper or plastic?”, or “Call or text?”. However, some split-second judgments have significant consequences; “I just blew a tire, is my right lane clear to pull over??!!”
If your brain is sluggish because of poor sleep, it is impossible to respond with peak mental capacities. The amygdala is the region of the brain that signals the body when there is a threat. If you miss just one night of sleep, the amygdala ceases to function correctly. If you have chronic poor sleep, your amygdala is significantly impaired.
An impaired amygdala causes problems in other areas of the brain as well. Reasoning, speech and hand-eye coordination slow down. In fact, a drowsy San Diego driver can be as dangerous as a tipsy San Diego driver.
If your difficulty sleeping is due to sleep apnea, we may be able to help. Marcos Ortega DDS offers dental sleep medicine for sleep apnea.
There are three different sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to control your breathing. The final type is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. This form is present when a patient has both of the other two types.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) conducted by a dentist can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved OAT in the following circumstances:
- As a first-line treatment for patients with mild to moderate OSA
- As a first-line treatment for individuals with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
- As a combination therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)
If you suspect that you suffer from sleep apnea, we invite you to schedule an appointment today.