If you were asked to define sleep apnea you might say “snoring,” and you’d be partly right. Snoring is an indication of sleep apnea, but the noises you make at night are merely a symptom. The real concerns of sleep apnea are far worse.
With obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the muscles in your throat relax, your tongue shifts to the back of your mouth (the soft palate), which then blocks your airway. In short, you stop breathing—often many times during one night. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a number of serious health issues: heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, asthma, and acid reflux, to name just a few. Dr. Porcelli and our team have the extensive training needed to provide you with multiple effective solutions to your sleep apnea problem.
Sleep apnea is generally diagnosed through a sleep study at a clinic or while connected to a special machine at home. Once a positive diagnosis has been made, Dr. Porcelli will have a consultation with you to discuss your treatment options. As a holistic dental practitioner, Dr. Porcelli understands that sleep apnea isn’t merely a problem that originates in your mouth; a multitude of lifestyle habits also play a factor. If you smoke, drink excessively, or are obese, your sleep apnea could be due in part to one or a combination of any of those factors. He’ll encourage you to make the necessary changes in order to overcome your sleep apnea and may recommend the nightly use of some special devices or even surgery to correct the problem.
See us in our Bluffton, SC office for sleep apnea treatment options.