Get the Full Night’s Sleep You Deserve with a Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance
As one of the most essential functions of human life, sleep is vital to everything you do. In fact, your sleep impacts every single aspect of your health and daily actions. From how you feel, to how you look and perform, sleep has the ability to enhance just about every facet of your life. Conversely, a sleep problem can not only be harmful to your health, but it can also diminish your well-being. Two of the most common sleep problems, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, can be detrimental to your quality of life, and should not be ignored.
At Bloom Dental of Arlington, we understand how important getting a good night’s sleep can be. And it’s precisely why we help our patients in Arlington, Washington D.C., Alexandria, Ballston, Tyson’s Corner, and Fairfax, VA finally get the sleep they deserve with sleep apnea dental devices. Let’s examine the warning signs of sleep apnea and how you can get help treating this unhealthy and dangerous condition.
Snoring is the noise made during sleep when soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates as you breathe. While it’s prevalent in men, snoring also occurs in women, especially during pregnancy and following menopause. Nasal obstructions, alcohol, obesity, and smoking all increase the risk of snoring. Although the sound of snoring tends to be most disturbing to a bed partner or roommate, loud snoring can even wake the person who snores, too. If you experience loud and frequent snoring, it’s a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea and should be addressed immediately.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Over 25 million American adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing for a time lasting from a few seconds to more than a minute. This stoppage of breathing can occur hundreds of times a night. OSA is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax while you sleep, allowing the soft tissues of the mouth to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, reducing your oxygen levels.
These pauses in breathing are followed by awakenings that disturb your sleep. Common signs of OSA are snoring, gasping, or sounds of choking during sleep. Similar to snoring, OSA is more common in men but it occurs in women too, most commonly during and after menopause. Having an abundance of body weight, a narrow airway, or improperly aligned jaw also increases the risk of OSA.
Why Is Treating OSA Critical?
Treating OSA is significantly crucial to your health. When left untreated, OSA often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and even loss of memory. OSA also is a serious threat to your safety because it increases your risk of tired driving and can contribute to workplace accidents. OSA can also raise your risk for severe health problems, including stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and even erectile dysfunction. In its most serious form, OSA even increases your risk of death.
How Are Snoring and OSA Diagnosed?
Only a Physician can determine if your snoring is a sign that you have OSA. A sleep specialist can perform a complete sleep evaluation, which can include an overnight study of your sleep patterns or a home test for sleep apnea. After they interpret the data from your sleep study, your doctor will make a diagnosis.
How are Snoring and OSA Treated?
While your sleep specialist will discuss treatment options with you, some of the most common choices for treating snoring and OSA include oral appliance therapy, positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, and finally, surgery.
⦁ PAP therapy involves wearing a face mask connected by tubing to a machine that helps to maintain airway pressure while sleeping.
⦁ Mouth appliance therapy uses a device, similar to a mouth guard, worn only during sleep to maintain an open airway that is unobstructed.
⦁ Surgical options include a variety of procedures, just about all of which have varying side effects and rates of success.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Research shows that oral appliance therapy, like from a sleep apnea dental device, is an effective treatment option for both snoring and OSA. For this method of treatment, an oral appliance is worn in the mouth, only while you sleep, and feels similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth guard. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain the proper position and keep the upper airway clear of obstructions.
There are several benefits to using a sleep apnea dental device over a PAP mask most notably that many patients consider an oral appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a PAP mask. These mouth appliances also are quiet, portable, and easily cared for.
If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then they will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made sleep apnea dental device. Additionally, you also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist, like one of our sleep apnea specialists at Bloom Dental of Arlington, who can provide mouth appliance therapy and treat your condition.
More than 100 different oral appliances have received FDA clearance, and we will recommend the device that is best for you and your distinct needs. And since oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans, you won’t have to worry about an expensive payment!
If you’re interested in finally getting the full night of rest that you both deserve, then make an appointment with one of our sleep apnea specialists today. We also offer a host of other professional dental services, from dental cleanings to cosmetic dentistry and everything in between.
For more information on sleep apnea dental device therapy, or to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, contact us today. Don’t suffer another sleepless night—call us now for improved sleep and health!