Are you experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness? Does your partner snore loudly every night?
Sleep apnea is a condition where the soft tissue at the back of your throat collapses while you sleep. This obstructs your airway during sleep. Though this phenomenon occurs intermittently and is not acutely life-threatening, repeated episodes can contribute to serious health issues.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and sleep-disordered breathing are growing health concerns. They can have a detrimental impact on your overall health and quality of life.
Fortunately, our dentists can provide treatments for this condition. Treating sleep apnea will improve your sleep, reduce associated health risks, and give you back lost energy and focus. Finding the right solution for your sleep apnea can be as simple as visiting our dental office.
Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy work with patients who have sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing. Dechter & Moy Dentistry in Silver Spring addresses mild to moderate symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea using oral appliance therapy.
The CPAP machine is the “gold standard” of Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment and most doctors recommend it for severe cases. However, oral appliance therapy is highly effective in patients with milder symptoms or who are intolerant to the CPAP system.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Because sleep apnea presents while an individual is asleep, you may not easily recognize that you have it. The partners of these patients might report loud snoring or brief periods of breathing cessation during the night.
You might be suffering from sleep apnea if you wake up gasping in the middle of the night. Grogginess or difficulty concentrating during the day is also a major sign. You should contact a medical professional if these symptoms seem familiar.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even young children. However, there are certain risk factors that everyone should be aware of and discuss with our dentists. We will screen for the common oral signs of sleep apnea during your routine visits. We can also coordinate further testing with your physician.
Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy have successfully treated many patients with this disorder. Some even report almost instant results after a few trials.
Common risk factors of sleep apnea include:
- Male gender
- Overweight, obese
- Fast weight gain in a short amount of time
- Large neck circumference
- Large tonsils
- High blood pressure
- Over the age of 40
If you consider yourself at risk for sleep apnea, schedule a consultation and discuss your concerns with us. We can help determine your need for further diagnosis and treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder could be life-saving. Sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders can cause you to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep! This briefly deprives vital organs of oxygen. Over time, this impacts your daily life and overall health.
The common signs of having a sleep disorder can include:
- Snoring, often loud
- Waking up gasping for air
- Feeling groggy in the morning or sleepy during the day
- Irritable, moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth in the morning
What Treatment Can I Find at the Dentist?
Many doctors recommend the use of a CPAP machine. This system involves a mask you wear over your nose or mouth that forces air into your airways as you sleep. Some patients do not tolerate this machine. Patients with mild sleep apnea can talk to our dentist about other treatment options.
For mild sleep apnea cases, our dentists can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance. You will need to wear the oral appliance overnight. This small device will keep your jaw in alignment. The back of your throat will not collapse and block your airway while you sleep.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
An oral appliance that treats sleep apnea can alleviate symptoms and minimize health risks often associated with a sleep disorder. Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy can create a custom-fit oral appliance that fits only in your mouth. This small device is similar to a mouthguard.
Our oral appliances will fit much like a mouthguard too. But it will allow the patient to speak and drink fluids while it’s in place. The best part is that you only have to wear it at night, while you sleep!
The sleep apnea oral appliance is easy to transport, relatively comfortable, and more discreet than a CPAP machine. Patients who qualify for an oral appliance are often more compliant with usage.
Are There Risks Using Oral Appliance Therapy?
No, oral appliance therapy is safe and effective for most patients. Our dentists construct oral appliances with your unique smile in mind. So you can be sure that the device will fit securely in your mouth while you sleep. This way, you can sleep comfortably and not have to worry about the appliance slipping out of place during the night.
Oral appliance therapy does not carry health risks. But untreated sleep apnea because of intolerance of the CPAP machine can cause your health to get worse. Patients with sleep apnea have higher risks. Persistent interrupted breathing and low-quality of sleep can increase the chance of developing heart problems and cognitive issues.
More Sleep Apnea FAQs
What is the life expectancy of someone with sleep apnea?
The life expectancy of someone with sleep apnea can vary depending on a few factors. Factors such as the severity of your specific case, your overall health, and compliance with the treatment will have an affect. Without treatment, it can lead to a lot of health issues. This includes issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even accidents.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It can lead to a variety of health issues and drastically reduce life expectancy if you do not manage it properly. Fortunately lifestyle changes, treatment, and other interventions can improve the life expectancy of patients with sleep apnea. With proper management, individuals with sleep apnea can expect to enjoy a full and productive life.
How can I fix sleep apnea naturally?
Patients can attempt to treat sleep apnea from home. The best way to stop sleep apnea is to exercise and stay at a healthy weight. If you are overweight, this could be making your sleep apnea much worse. Yoga is a good way to open airways and reduce sleep apnea.
Consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of sleep apnea. Minimize the risks and maximize your treatment results at Dechter & Moy Dentistry.
What is the best position to sleep with sleep apnea?
It is best to sleep on your side with sleep apnea. Doctors recommend that patients sleep on their right side because it increases blood circulation and can reduce snoring. Schedule an appointment if you think you have sleep apnea in silver spring, MD. We will conduct a sleep study or partner with your doctor to help you.