Do you keep your partner awake at night from your snoring? Do you occasionally wake up gasping for breath? Do you feel as though you haven’t had good rest, even after a full night of sleep? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could have a serious condition called sleep apnea.
Dr. Thomas and the rest of our team at Seahurst Park Dentistry are concerned about those who have this problem, which is why we offer effective therapy. To learn more about sleep apnea and the treatment we provide, you can keep reading and make an appointment with us!
Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing during sleep. Most often, the airway becomes blocked, and your brain wakes you up just enough to start breathing again. As a result, deep rest can be difficult to reach.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:
After you’ve undergone a sleep test and been officially diagnosed with this condition, Dr. Thomas can then prescribe therapy to keep sleep apnea from ruining your rest and overall health.
At first, poor sleep quality may not seem like a big deal; however, not getting enough rest consistently can impair your response time and judgment. In fact, studies show that driving while drowsy may be equally as dangerous as driving drunk!
In addition, sleep apnea has been found to significantly raise blood pressure levels, increasing the risk of heart disease or a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke. In pregnant women, sleep apnea has been reported to lead to more premature births and other complications. Needless to say, this condition is about so much more than snoring.
Commonly, sleep apnea is treated using a device called a CPAP machine. This apparatus comes with a mask, which is worn during sleep and forces air into your body to ensure you are breathing properly. As you might imagine, the machine can be rather loud and the mask a little uncomfortable. On that note, some find CPAP therapy to be just as disruptive as sleep apnea!
At Seahurst Park Dentistry, we offer another choice: oral appliance therapy. Basically, it’s a mouthguard-like appliance that you wear while you sleep. It repositions the lower jaw forward, making it harder for facial tissues to block your airway. This less-invasive alternative can be used in conjunction with or instead of CPAP therapy, depending on how severe your case is, and it could help you finally get the deep rest you desperately need.
Knowing what sleep apnea is and fully understanding it are two different things. In order to improve the quality of your sleep, you need to make sure that you’re as informed as possible when it comes to your sleep disorder and your options for treating it! Naturally, you can always talk to our team if you have any questions, but you can also start learning more about sleep apnea right now by reading the FAQs below and taking a look at the detailed answers we’ve provided.
Snoring is one of the most common side effects of sleep apnea, and it could be a major warning sign that something’s wrong if it’s accompanied by other concerning symptoms. That being said, snoring is not always a sign that you have sleep apnea, and the disorder isn’t always guaranteed to cause snoring to begin with. As such, the only real way to know for sure whether you have sleep apnea is to have a sleep test performed. A sleep expert can review the results of your test and determine whether you have sleep apnea as well as how severe it is.
While each situation is unique, oftentimes losing weight could make a positive difference for your sleep apnea symptoms. When you’re overweight, there’s a greater chance of tissues in your mouth or throat obstructing your airway while you’re asleep. Losing weight often means there’s less tissue around the airway, making blockage less likely to occur. That said, there’s no guarantee that losing weight will put a stop to your sleep apnea for good. Another sleep test will be needed to check whether or not the disorder is still present.
First of all, you need to consider the time it will take for you to get used to your sleep apnea treatment. When it comes to oral appliance therapy, your mouth may need a night (or a couple of nights) to adjust to that device. After that, though, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to get comfortable enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
In many cases, oral appliance therapy can improve the quality of your sleep almost right away. Pay attention to your symptoms; if they seem to be less severe than they used to, that’s often a good indicator that the treatment is working.
Not only is wearing an oral appliance for sleep apnea still possible even if you grind your teeth at night, but the device may actually end up helping you with both problems at once. Wearing an oral appliance means that your teeth won’t make direct contact with each other during the night, which can help keep the enamel safe from further damage.