Do you snore loudly, or wake up repeatedly throughout the night gasping for air?
Sleep apnea is a systemic health condition that can cause oral health concerns. Obstructive sleep apnea is disruptive and can take a toll on a patient’s physical and emotional well being as well as on their interpersonal relationships. Sleep apnea is widely undiagnosed. Those who are treated properly for sleep apnea often enjoy an improvement in their health and mood.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs when the airway becomes blocked or partially blocked during sleep. Typically obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of the soft oral tissue in the back of the mouth. The muscles relax, covering the airway and obstructing air flow. When this occurs the body is deprived of the amount of oxygen needed to operate normally.
Patients with sleep apnea commonly snore loudly or wake to gasp for air repeatedly throughout the night. Sleep apnea limits a person’s ability to get a full night’s rest. Sleep deprivation is harmful to the body’s systems and the function of the brain.
Sleep apnea has a direct correlation to an increased risk of conditions that impact the mind and body. A patient who has sleep apnea may feel constantly tired, irritable, and have difficulty focusing on a single task.
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Consequences of Sleep Apnea
- Heart attack
If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you have been told you snore, be sure to notify your physician or dentist. While your dentist may not be the first person you think of when considering treatment for sleep apnea, Dr. Pop and our dental care team provide alternative solutions for addressing sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea can be life saving.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Bella Smiles offers oral sleep appliance therapy, a discreet and comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine. The CPAP machine is the traditional option for helping patients breathe while sleeping. This bulky and uncomfortable machine often irritates patients and makes it difficult to get comfortable when trying to sleep.
Oral sleep appliance therapy is similar to wearing a sports mouthguard. The oral appliance is compact and easy to transport. The oral appliance is custom fabricated to fit comfortably and securely over the teeth.
The appliance is only worn while sleeping and it helps to reposition the jaw in order to keep the airway free from obstruction. Patients often feel an immediate improvement in their mood and experience a decrease in daily in headaches and discomfort. The oral sleep appliance allows patients to receive ample oxygen throughout the night reaping the benefits of sound sleep.
If you or your partner snores or experiences any of the symptoms of sleep apnea schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in Riverhead, Roslyn or Nesconset. Our dental care team will perform a thorough oral health and sleep apnea screening to determine if oral appliance therapy is right for you. In some cases, we may coordinate with your general physician.