Sleep Apnea Therapy in Chesapeake
Helping You Get Well Deserved Rest
Do you struggle with snoring, daytime drowsiness, or memory loss? Do you have trouble concentrating or routinely feel sleepy behind the wheel? These are all signs that you may be struggling with a serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer while asleep, and as a result, sleep apnea patients also wake up multiple times throughout the night to restore normal breathing. Not every patient wakes up completely, though; some only move to a lighter stage of sleep. That’s why sleep apnea is a commonly underdiagnosed condition. At Estrada Dentistry, we can provide sleep apnea treatment to help you get the rest you need and start to breathe easier.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a very serious disorder that can be detrimental to your overall health if left untreated. What can start as fatigue and morning headaches can escalate to ceased breathing and a possible heart attack or stroke.
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which occurs when the muscles in your throat collapse and effectively block your airway. As a result, you wake gasping for air. This can happen once or hundreds of times each night, leaving you feeling exhausted, irritable, and even forgetful the next day.
If sleep apnea remains untreated, the consequences can be severe and even fatal.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
In many cases, sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the tongue or lower jaw. During sleep, the tongue and lower jaw relax, cutting off the air’s pathway to the lungs. As a result, patients end up snoring or struggling to breathe properly. Known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it can be diagnosed with a sleep study and easily treated without surgery. One common method of treatment is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and it uses a steady stream of air to keep the airway open. However, more and more dentists are helping patients treat sleep apnea and snoring with oral appliance therapy.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic snoring
- Waking gasping for air or choking
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
- Chronic fatigue
How Snoring is Related to Sleep Apnea
It is true that just because you snore, you may not have sleep apnea. It’s also true that if you have sleep apnea, you may not snore. The reason the two are interconnected is that snoring is often one of the leading symptoms associated with individuals who have sleep apnea. This “bad habit” occurs as a result of the airway becoming partially blocked. This can happen when the tongue relaxes and falls back as you enter deeper sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Chesapeake and Beyond
At Estrada Dentistry, we’re happy to offer care for sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliance therapy. This effective treatment method uses a customized oral appliance, which is similar to a mouthguard, to reposition your tongue and lower jaw so that air can pass through normally to the lungs while you sleep. With your tongue and lower jaw out of the way, you can sleep peacefully at night without snoring.
Not only can you benefit from treatment with oral appliance therapy, but your bed partner will also as well. Many couples experience conflict as a direct result of a patient’s snoring. With oral appliance therapy, you can both rest better at night.
Compared to CPAP therapy, oral appliances make it possible to:
- Sleep without worrying about the bulky machine you will need to maneuver around
- Travel lighter and easier since your oral appliance is kept in a protective case
- Be more comfortable while sleeping since you won’t be wearing a facial or nasal mask that is often required with CPAP therapy
Your sleep dentist would be happy to talk to you about your symptoms and how treatment with oral appliance therapy can help. With a customized appliance, you and your partner will finally get the rest you both deserve.
Are you ready to schedule an appointment with Estrada Dentistry? Call us today. Our office is located in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake on the corner of Kempsville and Volvo Parkway.