You may not think about visiting your dentist to treat snoring or sleep apnea, but Dr. John Cutting of Edgewater Dental Arts can provide treatment to minimize snoring and improve symptoms of sleep apnea.
About Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Millions of people snore and though it isn’t always a serious condition, snoring can be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing. Sleep apnea has the potential to lead to serious problems because of decreased oxygen to the brain and heart.
Dr. Cutting can create a snore appliance, similar to a sports mouth guard that will help to keep the airway open while you sleep and prevent snoring. The snore guard is customized to fit comfortably in your mouth and limit the movement of the tongue to the back of the throat.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat become too relaxed during sleep. When this happens, the airway is blocked, and the patient cannot breathe. They must wake up just enough to continue breathing again, but they usually are not awake enough to remember what happened. These episodes can significantly reduce the quality of sleep that the patient receives, and they may always feel fatigued no matter how much sleep they get every night. This added stress on the body can also lead to issues like high blood pressure and heart problems, and sleep apnea can even be fatal in some cases.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
The only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea or not is by completing a sleep study, which is when a sleep doctor administers a test that records the activity of the body during sleep. There are a few signs that can indicate that you may have sleep apnea that you should consider before you schedule a sleep study. Chronic fatigue is a common symptom, as is loud snoring, waking up choking or gasping for air, and waking up with a dry or sore throat. Poor sleep quality can also lead to symptoms like irritability, mood swings, memory loss, and generally feeling like you’re in a fog.
Can sleep apnea be cured completely?
The only cure for sleep apnea is a surgery that removes some of the soft tissue that blocks the airway during sleep. These surgeries are invasive, and they don’t always work. Many patients treat their sleep apnea by using a CPAP machine every night, which forces air into the lungs even when the airway is blocked. If you struggle to sleep with a CPAP machine or you’re looking for a more convenient, cost-effective option, oral appliances for sleep apnea may be the way to go. These appliances hold the jaw in a comfortable position that keeps the airway open all night and leads to a better quality of sleep.