Are you tired of sleeping alone? Do your loved ones rely on closed doors and earplugs to help them rest peacefully through the night? If you are losing sleep because of your snoring, or if you are keeping your loved ones up at night with choking and gasping sounds, you may have sleep apnea.
Snoring is a sound generated during sleep by vibration of loose tissue in the upper airway. Snoring is one symptom of a group of disorders known as sleep disorder breathing. Twenty percent of all adults are chronic snorers, and 45% of normal adults snore occasionally. As people grow older, their likelihood of snoring increases. Approximately half of all individuals over the age of 60 snore regularly.
Snoring can be caused by alcohol, drugs, sedatives, a large uvula, large tonsils, excessive weight, nasal congestion, cysts, tumors, or a deviated septum.
Snoring should not be taken lightly, because it can lead to a more serious condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which one’s breathing pauses briefly (once or many times) during sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. The pauses can occur 30 times or more in an hour. Typically, normal breathing begins again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea is the leading cause of daytime sleepiness. It can also cause more serious consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and other health ailments.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially debilitating condition characterized by shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles supporting the soft palate relax, allowing the airway to narrow and close as you breathe in. It causes sufferers to snore loudly, choke, and gasp during sleep, leaving them (and those closest to them) feeling exhausted during the day. Conditions that have been linked to sleep apnea include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and impaired concentration. Though it has the potential to be debilitating, at Parkhaven Dental Care in Plano and Gunter, dentists Drs. Pincus, Dr. Sayek, and Dr. Dad have effective treatments that will put an end to your lonely nights and weary days.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Along with complaints from those closest to you, the following are sleep apnea symptoms to be aware of:
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Waking frequently with the need to urinate
- Feeling fatigued throughout the day
- Weight gain
- Attention problems
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
At our both our Plano and Gunter dental offices, Drs. Pincus, Dr. Sayek, and Dr. Dad address sleep apnea symptoms and snoring with a removable, oral sleep apnea appliance (similar to a mouthpiece) that stabilizes the tongue and re-positions the jaw. This allows for normal mouth opening and closing, as well as normal airflow, giving you immediate relief from sleep apnea symptoms. Though the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is the gold standard for treating mild to severe sleep apnea, our treatment is far less invasive and is ideal for patients who can’t tolerate the CPAP or who suffer from mild sleep apnea. Oral appliances are easy to use and require little to no change in your lifestyle.
Sleep apnea is a condition that can be pointed out to patients by a dentist, but must be diagnosed by a medical doctor. Sleep apnea is often treated medically with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP is generally accepted as the gold standard of sleep apnea care. Because of the cumbersome nature of CPAP, the dental community has searched for sleep apnea therapy options with the use of oral positioning appliances. Groups like the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) have worked diligently to help dentists provide CPAP alternatives when indicated. Though it has the potential to be debilitating, at Parkhaevn Dental Care, Plano dentist Dr. Michael Pincus has effective treatments that will put an end to your lonely nights and weary days.
At Parkhaven Dental Care, we follow the protocols set by the AADSM, including:
- Medical assessments
- Diagnostic sleep studies
- Dental clinical evaluation
- Proper usage of oral appliance therapy