It is frightening to think that you could stop breathing while you sleep, depriving your body and your brain of precious oxygen. But, that is exactly what happens to millions of people, several times each night, when an obstruction or blockage in the airway restricts the normal flow and rhythm of breathing.
Technically, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, this condition has serious and sometimes life-threatening consequences, although many patients are unaware of its presence. High blood pressure, the risk of a stroke, obesity, and difficulty concentrating are just a few of the harmful side-effects. Fortunately, once you are able to recognize the symptoms, you can enjoy some relief with a visit to the dentist.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
If you or your family members are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, sleep apnea could be a problem:
- Insomnia or inability to sleep well
- Heavy or bothersome snoring
- Waking up throughout the night with shortness of breath
- Snorting, choking, or gurgling sounds while sleeping (indicating an interruption in breathing)
- Morning Headaches
- Falling asleep or needing a nap during the day
- Extreme drowsiness and fatigue during the day
Professional Dental Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Treating these conditions begins with addressing the factors that are most likely to aggravate the problem, such as obesity, your sleeping position, or smoking. Using a small oral device known as a mandibular advancement device (MAD) can help to properly position your jaw in order to keep your airway open as you are sleeping. In the most severe cases, surgery may be suggested.
However, for many patients, the nonsurgical MAD oral appliance can effectively move the lower jaw forward, preventing the tongue and the soft tissues around the throat from collapsing to block your breathing passages. When the appliance is worn at night, our patients are able to breathe better and enjoy a full and quiet slumber.
Take the First Step
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation so that we may discuss your sleep apnea symptoms and put you on the road towards better health.