Sleep Apnea can make life miserable. It interrupts sleep, keeps your partner awake and eventually erodes your good health. There are ways to combat the condition and dentistry can be very helpful.
What exactly is Sleep Apnea?
If you have shallow breaths or pauses between breaths while you’re sleep, sleep apnea is the culprit. This chronic problem can wake you up amid your snorts, gasps for breath or grinding of teeth, in the most acute cases. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can cause you to actually stop breathing for as long as a minute many times during sleep. It also wakes you up and that’s why most people who have Sleep Apnea never feel like they’ve had a good night’s sleep.
There is Central Sleep Apnea where brain signals cause inefficient, labored breathing and Obstructive Sleep Apnea where breath is constricted or physically obstructed by enlarged tonsils, fat tissue or the position of your tongue and/or jaw.
How your dentist can help
You can put the kibosh on both Sleep Apnea and snoring with a mandibular advancement device – a customized device made by your dentist. This mold will fasten to the shape of your teeth and mouth. When you’re using this appliance, your jaw is pushed forward letting more air move freely through your airway. If you’re overweight, weight loss will help snoring and Sleep Apnea and this device can be used alongside your efforts to shed a few pounds. The device is are also helpful for stomach and back sleepers.
There are other alternatives to wearing a dental appliance, such as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, but there are advantages to the mandibular advancement device:
You’ll have to visit your dentist so he can make changes to the device as needed by your particular circumstances.
Sleep Apnea is no laughing matter. If it’s left untreated it can cause a number of health problems like acid reflux, high blood pressure, depression, irritability, dry throat and/or mouth, heart attack, stroke and an irregular heart rhythm, to name a few.
To get more information on getting an oral device to wage war on Sleep Apnea and snoring, give the pros at Dr. David Silberman, DDS, a call. They will be able to answer any questions pertinent to your personal situation.
Treating Sleep Apnea can improve, if not save, your life!