Could a dentist help you sleep better? In certain cases, yes! When patients either snore loudly and/or suffer from sleep apnea, a dentist can provide interventional care to manage and limit their sleep disturbances. We all know that sleep is a vital component of a healthy body. If you or your bed partner is showing signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), seek help sooner rather than later.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a very common yet serious sleep condition. It occurs when the muscles of the upper airway relax during sleep and close off proper air flow. This can mean a pause in breathing during nighttime sleep of up to 10 seconds or more. The brain responds to the lack of oxygen by signaling the body to wake up, which is often accompanied by the person gasping for air. If you have sleep apnea, these pauses in breathing can happen hundreds of times per night without you even realizing it. In many cases, you’ll also snore loudly due to the vibrations of the throat partially closing.
The Daytime Consequence of Nighttime Sleep Apnea
Such severe disturbances in sleep do not go unscathed. Sleep apnea can cause minor setbacks such as daytime fatigue, poor concentration, headaches and moodiness, but it has also been associated with more serious overall health conditions involving the cardiovascular and metabolic system. In fact, several studies have shown a link between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan!
Treating Your Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Conditions like sleep apnea and snoring can be managed by a qualified dentist. At Family Smiles Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea, which involves a custom mouth guard that fits over your teeth and holds the jaw in a position to keep the airway open while you sleep. This prevents snoring as well as the pauses in breathing that are so detrimental in sleep apnea patients. Oral appliance therapy is ideal for those that are unable or unwilling to tolerate bulky CPAP machines as a traditional sleep apnea treatment.
If you suspect that yourself or your loved one suffers from sleep apnea, please call our Dallas dental team. It is time to start getting the quality sleep your body needs and deserves!
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