Sleep apnea treatment
Dental solutions to help you breathe better
If your partner complains about your snoring, or you end up waking up as tired as you were when you went to bed, sleep apnea may be the culprit. People with sleep apnea stop breathing for short periods of time – it happens when your tongue and the muscles in your throat relax, blocking the air passage for seconds at a time. It’s more than just an annoyance; it’s a serious condition that can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, congestive heart failure, erectile dysfunction, mood swings, and extreme tiredness that can cause injuries and accidents.
Symptoms can include:
- abnormal sleep patterns
- choking during sleep
- significant daytime sleepiness
- difficulty with concentration
- dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- erectile dysfunction
- falling asleep at inappropriate times
- high blood pressure
- loud snoring
- sudden awakenings
- waking up in a sweat
If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to us about it. We can start by fitting you with a snore guard – a simple device you wear in your mouth to keep your airway open. (Any dental appliance should be custom fitted by a dentist so it works properly.) We can also recommend diagnostic testing or a sleep study where you’re monitored in a sleep lab overnight.
If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, your treatment options may include medication, behavioral changes, dental appliances, and/or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP machines use air to keep the soft palate from sagging. Pressurized air comes through a face mask, keeping the air passage open and preventing sleep apnea.
In many cases, lifestyle changes are an effective treatment for mild sleep apnea. Exercising to reduce weight, avoiding alcohol and staying out of sleep positions that lead to increased snoring can all help reduce the problem. However, we recommend seeing a doctor to ensure the problems don’t stem from other causes.
Kids and sleep apnea
It’s not just adults who are affected by sleep apnea – children can get it too. They can be hyperactive, high-strung, aggressive, and prone to bed wetting. They may sleep in unusual positions. If you think your child might be suffering from sleep apnea, talk to us, or contact your family doctor.Find Out More