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When the alarm sounds in the morning, do you wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed? Sleep apnea may be the reason why. According to the National Institutes of Health more than 25 million Americans have the sleep disorder, but many are unaware they have it. One study reports that only 16 percent of those with sleep apnea receive treatment.
Sleep apnea is the interruption – even stopping — of breathing during sleep, a problem that affects both adults and children. If you think you may have this ailment, speak with your primary care physician and participate in a sleep study. Once diagnosed there are several treatments to consider.
Only recently, dentists have become part of solution to the common problem of sleep apnea. The traditional fix is sleeping while wearing a CPAP mask but now other options are available. After an apnea diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may refer you to Miami Beach Dental Center where our dentist has completed extensive training and is qualified to treat your sleep disorder with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).
To find out how our experienced professional in Miami Beach can help treat your sleep apnea, please call us at (786) 838-4176.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea Remains Untreated?
It’s important to your overall health to have sleep apnea diagnosed and treated. Sleep apnea may stop your breathing multiple times a night because your airway becomes blocked. The tongue, excess tissue in the throat, nasal obstruction, enlarged uvula or tonsil and obesity may be the cause of a blocked airway. The interruptions can dangerously lower your oxygen levels, prompting the brain to wake you up to take a breath. This can occur dozens, even hundreds of times each night, becoming a nightmare for you and your family.
If sleep apnea goes untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to more severe health problems, including:
- Heart attack
- Memory disorders
- Difficulty focusing
- Stroke and possible seizures
What are Some Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
People who have sleep apnea may have related symptoms such as:
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Loud snoring
- Struggling for air during sleep
- Memory loss
- Concentration issues
- Gaining of weight
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Headaches and sinus issues
- Excessive sweating
If these symptoms are familiar, talk to your primary care physician to determine the cause. It could be sleep apnea and Oral Appliance Therapy in Miami Beach may be the best treatment for you.
How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?
Only a proper diagnosis can determine which type of sleep apnea you have:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is a blockage of your airway blockage caused by a genetic abnormality such as excessive tissue around the tongue, throat or nose. Oral Appliance Therapy has been successful in treating this issue.
- Central sleep apnea is when when your brain fails to send the proper signals to muscles responsible for breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea (also referred to as complex sleep apnea) is when central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea are both present.
How Can My Dentist in Miami Beach Help Me with Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy, called OAT treatment, is used to manage mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring caused by a repetitive airway obstruction. Our dentist at Miami Beach Dental Center may be able to correct obstructive sleep apnea by fitting you with a custom-made oral appliance worn as you sleep. The oral appliance, similar to a retainer or mouthguard, helps keep your airway open.
If your apnea is caused by your tongue resting on the airway, a tongue-retaining device may correct the problem. The position of your jaw also could prompt the sleep disorder and our dentist can treat the problem with a device or headgear to adjust the jaw. These devices are removable and are only worn as you sleep.
People with serious sleep apnea generally are poor candidates for oral appliances because the treatment will not adequately resolve their issue. They could possibly find relief by using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy — the standard of care for those patients. If you find the CPAP uncomfortable or don’t otherwise respond well to CPAP therapy, please talk to your primary care physician or sleep specialist about other options.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Treatment Consultation Today
Our well-trained dentist in Miami Beach is ready for your call to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation. We are eager to help you get a good night’s sleep.