How Can My Dentist Help My Sleep Apnea?

How Can My Dentist Help My Sleep Apnea?

Nothing is as refreshing and rejuvenating as a good night’s sleep! Unfortunately, sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, can impact your health and quality of life. Your trusted team at Dental Care of North Carolina is proud to offer effective sleep apnea solutions for real, long-lasting relief!

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea, the most common of which is known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a common and potentially serious sleep disorder. Symptoms of this chronic condition include loud snoring, waking up choking or gasping for breath, morning headaches, waking up with a dry mouth, and teeth grinding and clenching during sleep (bruxism).

Patients experience several interruptions in breathing during sleep because the muscles around the tongue repeatedly relax, allowing the soft tissues to collapse and block the airway. That prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs.

How Does Sleep Apnea Impact Your Health and Quality of Life?

Poor sleep has devastating health and lifestyle consequences. Untreated sleep apnea is especially problematic for those with certain medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic acid reflux, and more.

People with sleep apnea are often sleep deprived. They may wake up tired, feel lethargic and sleepy throughout the day, have trouble concentrating, and have memory loss. They are also prone to unexplained weight gain, irritability, mood disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, the lack of sleep increases the risk of workplace and driving accidents.

What Are the Sleep Apnea Risk Factors?

While sleep apnea can happen to anyone at any age. Risk factors include obesity, family history, being male, consistent nasal congestion, and having a small jaw or a large neck circumference. Patients with low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) and high growth hormone levels (acromegaly) are also at a higher risk of developing this chronic sleep disorder.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Diagnosing sleep apnea involves a sleep study called a polysomnogram. That involves monitoring your lung, heart, and brain activity during sleep, as well as your breathing patterns, physical movement, and blood oxygen levels.

Traditionally, sleep doctors prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP mask to keep the airway open and prevent breathing stoppages during sleep. However, some patients find the hoses and machine cumbersome and noisy and don’t sleep any better.

Dental Care of North Carolina can help you find a more comfortable and effective solution with oral appliance therapy. We may recommend a mandibular advancement device that you wear similar to a mouthguard to keep your jaw in a forward position and maintain an open airway. Another option is a soft tissue repositioning oral appliance, a splint-like device that keeps the tongue in place to keep the airway open.

Sleep Apnea Solutions in Morrisville and Greensboro

Contact Dental Care of North Carolina to learn more about our effective sleep apnea solutions. Our exceptional team will work with you to find the best treatment option to restore your restful, rejuvenating sleep. Call us and schedule your appointment today!