If you wonder if sleep apnea is affecting your quality of rest, read this guide from Dental Care 4U in South Holland.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which the tissue at the back of the throat obstructs the airways. This is caused by the relaxation of the muscles that support the soft palate, uvula (the small tissue flap hanging from the soft palate), tonsils, side walls of the throat, and the tongue. When these muscles relax, the airway becomes narrower or even closes while breathing, making it hard to get enough air and possibly reducing the oxygen level in the blood.
Sleep apnea is usually recognizable by loud snoring, periods when someone stops breathing while asleep (which can be noticed by another person), struggling for breath during sleep, waking up with a dry mouth, morning headaches, having trouble staying asleep (insomnia), extreme drowsiness during the day (hypersomnia), difficulty focusing when awake, and being easily annoyed.
Sleep Apnea Can Impact Your Rest
When your airway is obstructed due to sleep apnea, your brain is aware of the lack of oxygen, so it briefly wakes you up so you can open your airway again. This awakening usually only lasts for a second, so you likely won’t remember it. You may snort, choke, or gasp during this time. This cycle can happen around 30 times or more over the course of a single night, making it difficult to achieve restful sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea can prevent people from getting the restful sleep they need, leading to tiredness and lethargy during the day. In addition to this, it can have serious negative impacts on a person’s health, such as heart disease, depression, and elevated blood pressure.
What Factors Increase The Risk Of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, but certain groups are more likely to develop it. Before the age of 50, men are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than women. After 50, however, the rate is similar for both genders. As people age, the chance of developing sleep apnea increases, and those with obesity or excess weight are particularly vulnerable. Additionally, Black, Hispanic, and Asian people are more likely to have the condition.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Addressed By My Dentist?
While some specialists may recommend a positive airway pressure device or a CPAP machine to address sleep apnea, the truth of the matter is that these treatments are not always the best options for everyone. Some people with sleep apnea are not able to use CPAP machines. Surgery as a treatment option can be too invasive to consider.
Fortunately, the experts at Dental Care 4U in South Holland can provide patients with oral appliances to address sleep apnea. As a convenient option for treating sleep apnea, our practice can provide oral appliances to help you get a better night’s sleep. We offer multiple options for sleep apnea oral devices, including:
- Mandibular Advancement Devices: These devices attach to the upper and lower teeth to move the jaw and tongue forward and can be customized to fit the patient’s teeth, reducing snoring and daytime sleepiness.
- Tongue-Stabilizing Devices: Tongue-stabilizing devices work to pull the tongue forward using suction and keep the tongue from blocking the airways.
- Rapid Maxillary Expansion Devices: Rapid maxillary expansion devices are orthodontic devices that expand the roof of the mouth to open the airways. These involve wearing a custom-fitted expander to fit over the top back teeth and using pressure to correct arched palates in children.
Choose A Good Night’s Sleep With Dental Care 4U
If you’re ready for dentistry with a gentle touch at a practice that feels just like home, consider Dental Care 4U. Dr. Raj Khurana and the team have been operating Dental Care 4U for over 20 years, and are proud to offer the very best South Holland, IL and the surrounding communities. We always work with a gentle touch, so whether you need a root canal, tooth extraction, or orthodontic treatment, we will be here for you and your loved ones. Call us today at 708-333-2213 for an appointment.