Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous health condition that affects up to 6 percent of all American adults. The most common form of the disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the airway becomes temporarily blocked during sleep. Sleep apnea results in a lack of oxygen in the patient’s system.
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with several worrying symptoms, including:
- Repeated stops and starts in breathing at night
- Loud snoring, often disturbing family members
- Dry mouth
- Gasping for air at night
- Feeling exhausted during the day
- Morning headaches
You should speak with your primary care physician if you have one or more of these symptoms. You may need a sleep study to fully diagnose the condition, where you sleep in a medical setting with your vital signs and sleep patterns monitored. After receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis, you may return to your dentist to explore treatment options.
Possible Consequences of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea may be an independent risk factor for many systemic diseases, some of which could be life-threatening. Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke could result from untreated sleep apnea.
People with sleep apnea may also be more likely to experience fatigue-related accidents during the day. Family relationships may also be affected by excessive snoring.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
People who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk for this condition since excess tissue in the throat can block the airways at night. More men than women have sleep apnea. People with larger-than-average tongues or small jaws could also be more likely to develop sleep apnea.
Why See a Dentist for Sleep Apnea?
Dentists have extensive training and expertise in oral anatomy. They understand the root causes of obstructive sleep apnea. They can provide unique treatments that present excellent alternatives to noisy CPAP machines, implants, or surgery.
Sunshine Dentistry offers two non-invasive treatments for sleep apnea:
The Vivos® System uses a custom-fitted oral device that fits like a dental retainer or palate expander. Over time, it expands the size of the palate and widens the airway, lowering the chance of blockage during the night.
ProSomnus® is another custom oral appliance for obstructive sleep apnea that resembles clear orthodontic aligners. This appliance positions the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. This device can also reduce snoring.
Protect Your Health
Sleep apnea can interfere with your quality of life and your long-term health. Untreated sleep apnea can also lead to severe health consequences. Contact your primary care physician for a diagnosis if you have any symptoms described here.
Call Sunshine Dentistry
Call our Cape May Court House, NJ office at 609-465-5415 to inquire about sleep apnea treatment. We can help you get a better night’s sleep while protecting your health.