Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep breathing disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when there's a lapse or interruption in breathing during sleep, and untreated sleep apnea can lead to numerous health issues.
At Oak Family Dental in Metairie, Louisiana, we can help relieve your sleep apnea symptoms so you can enjoy more restful, reparative sleep. Part of our goal is to educate patients to make more informed decisions about their oral health.
Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
The three types of sleep apnea are obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea is perhaps the most common and occurs when the throat muscles relax. The airway is blocked by anatomical structures or excessive oral tissue, such as an enlarged soft palate or tonsils.
Everyone's experience with sleep apnea differs, but here are some common warning signs of sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Coughing, choking, or gasping for air during sleep
- Night sweats
- Sore throat or dry mouth after waking up
- Anxiety or depression
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restlessness or waking up frequently at night
- Sexual dysfunction
- TMJ or bruxism symptoms
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it's best to get treatment sooner rather than later. Sleep apnea can dramatically affect your general health and quality of life. Restful sleep is essential for your health and well-being.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are many options for sleep apnea treatment, depending on your unique needs. Some treatments include:
Oral Appliance Therapy
A custom-made oral appliance repositions your mouth and opens your airway for better sleep. At Oak Family Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy to help you get the sleep you need for a healthier, happier life. Also, oral appliance therapy protects your teeth and jaws from constant motion and pressure, often associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy
This machine pushes air through a mask you wear to open the airway. Though this therapy may be helpful for some, the device is too noisy or uncomfortable for many patients.
Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol and tobacco products can help improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Some patients may consider surgery for repairing excessive or malformed tissue that prevents proper airflow.
Are You Ready for Restful Sleep?
Our dental team works with a qualified sleep expert to determine which treatment best meets your needs. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Margaret Patterson.