How Dental Treatment Can Improve Sleep Apnea
Wednesday August 24, 2016 by Melissa Brown, DDS
Does your spouse complain about your snoring? If so, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation. Oftentimes loud snoring is a sign of a disorder called sleep apnea. You may not know that while a doctor diagnoses sleep apnea, there are treatment options available at your dentist as well.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to pause when breathing during sleep. As a result, they’ll often wake up multiple times in an evening, gasping for breath. These breathing pauses can occur hundreds of times in an evening, sometimes lasting for as long as 20 seconds.
While sleep apnea might not sound like a big deal, unfortunately, it’s associated with a number of serious health conditions including: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA?
As we mentioned earlier, common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and waking up frequently during the middle of the night. However, other symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
- Morning headaches
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, we recommend that you contact your primary physician or a sleep specialist for a professional evaluation.
WHO EXPERIENCES SLEEP APNEA?
While anyone can experience sleep apnea, it occurs most commonly in people who are overweight, particularly men. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of sleep apnea include a large neck circumference, smoking, a family history, and the use of throat-relaxing sedatives, like alcohol or tranquilizers.
HOW IS SLEEP APNEA TRADITIONALLY TREATED?
Traditional treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. With a CPAP device, an individual wears a mask over his nose while sleeping which delivers a steady stream of pressurized air. This keeps the airway open.
While the CPAP can be effective, it only works if it’s used. All too often, people abandon their CPAP devices, because they find them noisy, uncomfortable, and difficult to take with them when traveling.
HOW CAN MURRAY HILL HELP WITH SLEEP APNEA?
While we don’t diagnose sleep apnea, we do offer sleep apnea dentistry to our patients who have been already been diagnosed with the disorder. If you visit Murray Hill for sleep apnea treatment, we’ll create a custom-fitted night guard for you. This dental appliance is an FDA-approved treatment option for sleep apnea that most people find far preferable to a CPAP device. It’s comfortable, easy to use, and very convenient for travelers.
HOW CAN I SCHEDULE A SLEEP APNEA APPOINTMENT WITH MURRAY HILL?
It’s easy to schedule your sleep apnea appointment. Simply click here to access our online appointment request form or call our office. We have 2 locations to serve you. To reach our N. Murray Hill Road office servicing the Western Columbus area, please contact 614.427.0116. Alternatively, to schedule an appointment at our Northern location located in Westerville, call 614.508.0044.