If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, never falling into a deep sleep, and jerking away periodically throughout the night, you could be suffering from sleep apnea.If you are, you are not alone. Over 20 million Americans suffer from this sleep disorder, sleep apnea, that is a result of a blocked airway during the night.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Gasping for breath in the night
- Fatigue during the day
- Fitful sleeping
- Lack of concentration
- Unexplained weight gain
If these symptoms sound familiar to you, your dentist can help you find answers.
It starts with a sleep study
An important first step is to receive a proper diagnosis. Your dentist can help you get to a the root of the problem. A Sleep study and a dental examination can help to determine if you do in fact have sleep apnea and if your oral airway is being blocked in the night. Often, dental issues such as a misalignment of the jaw can force your tongue into the wrong position blocking airflow during the night.
When other scenarios have been ruled out, such as a blockage of the nasal passages or a miscommunication with your central nervous system, you and your dentist can seek the solution that will work for you.
Effective?treatment can get you back to sleep
When it comes to resolving sleep apnea or snoring, you have several options. While the most common sleep apnea treatment is the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, device, many patients find this option to be intrusive. It involves being connected to a machine during the night, wearing a mask while air is blown into the nose and mouth. The noise and restriction is often considered disruptive to sleep, defeating the purpose.
A snoring appliance or oral appliance is a welcome alternative that can be designed by your dentist, providing you with a mouth guard that is a custom fit. By wearing your appliance at night, your jaw will be held in the proper position, holding your tongue in place, and allowing you to breathe easily during the night.
Do you have sleep apnea? Find out
Imagine being able to sleep well again and feel refreshed when morning arrives. If your sleep problem is caused by sleep apnea, your dentist can help you find an effective treatment plan. Is sleep apnea at the root of your sleep problems? Take my sleep questionnaire and gain some insight.