Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that causes you to stop breathing throughout the night. When you stop breathing, your brain wakes your body up enough to force you to take a breath, but you’re not consciously awake. People suffering from sleep apnea may wake up hundreds of times a night and experience dangerously low oxygen levels.
Sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation, both of which lead to symptoms during the daytime, including:
If you have sleep apnea you may also struggle with driving and are at a higher risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and even death.
Sleep apnea is often treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. You wear a mask over your face or nose when you go to bed and the machine forces air into your lungs while you’re sleeping. CPAP machines are very effective in treating sleep apnea, but sometimes the mask makes it difficult for people to sleep which defeats the purpose.
A Smiling Heart Dentistry works closely with a local sleep lab to customize sleep apnea treatment. The team offers FDA-approved oral sleep appliances and the type of appliance that’s best for you depends on your needs and the type of sleep apnea you have. Some treatment options include:
SomnoDent is a custom-made appliance that fits over your upper and lower teeth to relax the muscles in your mouth and throat. It keeps airways open so you breathe freely while sleeping.
The DNA appliance is an orthodontic appliance that also offers relief from sleep apnea symptoms. It’s custom-made to fit your mouth and is similar to a removable retainer.
The effectiveness of your sleep apnea treatment is monitored with a level 3 take-home sleep monitor. A Smiling Heart Dentistry works with sleep doctors to modify and adjust your treatment as necessary.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, call the practice or book an appointment online today.