Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you struggle with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you can suffer from a range of symptoms that affect your overall well-being. Your Dentist can help diagnose OSA and treat it with custom-made oral appliances that provide non-invasive correction to improve your breathing and your long-term health.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have been told that you snore excessively, or if you are experiencing constant drowsiness and daytime irritability, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Dentist offers nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea at their dental practice to help you have a better night’s sleep. They provide customized night guards that can be worn to help keep your airways open at night, allowing you to breathe comfortably and achieve quality rest.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when your soft palate, uvula, tongue, tonsils, and throat muscles collapse while you sleep. When this happens, it narrows your air passageway and prevents adequate breathing, causing you to gasp for air and briefly awaken at different times throughout the night. Most sufferers do not remember these awakenings. Instead, they wake up feeling exhausted in spite of what they believe was a full night’s sleep.
When sleep apnea is left untreated, it can begin to affect your daily life. Excessive daytime fatigue may eventually affect your job, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Meanwhile, as your throat muscles relax through the night, your jaw may clench in an attempt to prevent this from happening. Over time, this can lead to bruxism (jaw clenching and teeth grinding) and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Other serious health conditions that could develop include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
You may face an increased risk of developing sleep apnea if you:
- Are male
- Are overweight
- Have a family member with sleep apnea
- Smoke or drink heavily
- Are over the age of 60
- Have a large neck circumference or narrow nasal passageways
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
A custom splint can help keep airways open at night, allowing you to experience restful sleep.
One of the more common signs of sleep apnea is loud snoring, but other symptoms include:
- Chronic exhaustion
- Dry or sore throat, especially in the mornings
- Trouble focusing and concentrating
- Anxiety or depression
- Frequent headaches
Customized Sleep Apnea Treatment
Treating sleep apnea can help you experience a better night’s sleep, give you more energy, and improve your health. Your dentist can provide you with a customized oral appliance to be worn at night. These night guards fit comfortably over your teeth, much like Invisalign® trays, and are designed to keep your lower jaw positioned in a way that prevents blockage of the airways.
For moderate to severe cases, your dentist may recommend that you visit a sleep specialist who can provide you with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This involves wearing a mask over your nose and mouth that pumps pressurized air through your passageways to help you breath easier and more effectively. If oral appliances and CPAP machinery do not work for you, surgery may be recommended.