How to Correct Sleep Apnea, Snoring with Sleep Dentistry
Many people snore at night, believing it is completely normal. While some snoring may be harmless, other cases may actually be due to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In this situation, sleep dentistry can be very helpful.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry is an important aspect of dentistry that helps patients get a more restful and safe night’s sleep.
Many people who see a doctor for OSA are told to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. These mask-like devices fit snugly over a patient’s face while they sleep and help them breathe at night.
Your dentist can also provide treatment for snoring and sleep apnea. For example, some people benefit from a “snore guard,” or other sleep apnea oral appliance.
These appliances reposition the patient’s lower jaw and tongue so they can breathe better and enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Some do-it-yourself kits promise these results, but every person is different, making it important that an experienced dentist fits you with an appliance that’s custom-made for you.
Constant Snoring Might be a Sign of Sleep Apnea
Constant snoring can interrupt patients’ sleep or prevent their partners from getting the rest they need. As mentioned above, snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition in which a person does not receive adequate oxygen while they are sleeping.
Sleep Apnea Can be a Serious Medical Condition
During sleep, the body relaxes and recovers. However, in patients suffering from sleep apnea, the muscles of the throat and tongue relax too much and prevent air from reaching the lungs.
It is important to diagnose sleep apnea early because oxygen deprivation can be inherently dangerous. Sleep apnea prevents one from reaching the deep restorative stages of sleep leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, exhaustion, and other effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing serious medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.
While serious, sleep apnea is not uncommon. Fortunately, oral appliance therapy might be an option to give you and your sleeping partner a more restful sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Snoring, choking, and gasping during sleep
- Exhaustion, irritability, and inability to focus caused by lack of sleep
- Morning headaches
- Dry or sore throat upon waking
Some people suffer from sleep apnea due to genetics, and other cases are caused by hormonal imbalances. Some patients may benefit from losing weight, sleeping on their side, quitting smoking, and abstaining from alcohol before bed.
However, proper intervention from an experienced sleep dentistry professional can also help ensure a patient gets adequate oxygen throughout the night.
Contact McDonogh Dental Associates Today for Sleep Dentistry in Owings Mills, Maryland
The McDonogh Dental Associates team is excited to help promote good sleep and overall health in Owings Mills, MD. If you or your partner have had too many sleepless nights, please fill out our contact form and let us know your symptoms so we can provide treatment to help you feel refreshed each morning.