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How often do you wake up in the morning feeling as if you didn’t sleep at all? You might have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that affects as many as 25 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Unfortunately, many people aren’t familiar with the disorder or even know they have it. A recent study suggests that only 16 percent of sleep apnea sufferers seek treatment for the disorder that is costing you some serious Zzzzzzzs.
Adults and children can be suffer from sleep apnea, which is the cessation of breathing during sleep. If you think you might have this common disorder, ask your doctor to get you into a sleep study to determine a diagnosis and viable treatment.
One solution to your sleep apnea may be a trip to your dentist at Towncare Dental of Pinecrest. In recent years, dentists have trained to provide innovative treatment such as Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), an alternative to the more traditional CPAP mask worn while sleeping.
To learn how our dentist in Miami can treat your sleep apnea, please call us today at (305) 403-9711.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea Is Not Treated?
To maintain your long-term health, it is important to have your sleep apnea diagnosed and treated. Airway obstructions, including your tongue or possibly excess tissue in the throat, nose plus obesity or enlarged uvula or tonsil, may cause you to stop breathing multiple times during the night. These interruptions, sometimes dozens or hundreds of times a night, can dangerously lower the body’s oxygen levels, forcing the brain to wake you up so you can take a proper breath.
Years of unchecked sleep apnea can take a toll on your overall health including increasing the possibility of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, memory problems and an inability to concentrate. Sleep apnea can interrupt your sleep dozens, or even hundreds of times each night, preventing you from getting a healthy rest.
What are Some Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms of sleep apnea you may recognize in yourself include:
- Loud snoring and/or gasping for air while sleeping
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus
- Weight increase
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Headaches and sinus problems
- Nighttime perspiration (sweats)
If you have any of these symptoms, speak to your primary care physician to confirm a diagnosis. If it is sleep apnea, ask your doctor if Oral Appliance Therapy in Miami is an option for treatment.
How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?
Only an exam can determine which of the three forms of sleep apnea you have:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is an airway blockage caused by a hereditary abnormality such as excessive tissue at the back of the tongue, throat or nose. Oral Appliance Therapy typically helps this type of sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea is diagnosed when the brain fails to send correct signals to the muscles responsible for breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea (sometimes called complex sleep apnea) results when both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea are present in a patient.
How Can My Dentist in Miami Help Me with Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy, also referred to as OAT treatment, is used for aiding mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring caused by a repetitive airway obstruction. Our specially trained dentist at Towncare Dental of Pinecrest may be able to correct obstructive sleep apnea by fitting you with a custom oral appliance worn during at night. You may have a high school flashback when you see the oral appliance that looks like a retainer or sports mouthguard. It is designed to keep your airway open.
If it is determined your sleep apnea is caused by your tongue resting on the airway, a tongue-retaining device may be prescribed to correct the problem. If sleep apnea is caused by your jaw position, our dentist will consider a custom device or headgear to adjust the jaw’s position as a remedy. All of the devices are removable and you’d only them when you go to bed.
If you are diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, oral appliances likely won’t provide the fix you need. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy remains the recommended care for those patients. However, if you have trouble wearing a CPAP mask or do not respond to CPAP treatment, please talk about to your primary care physician or sleep specialist about other helpful options.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Treatment Consultation Today
Everyone deserves a restful night’s sleep. Please contact our highly experienced dentist in Miamitoday for a sleep apnea treatment consultation to ensure you dreams are sweet.