Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects your breathing while you sleep. It’s characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths, which can happen hundreds of times a night. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and occur multiple times an hour.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition because it deprives your body of oxygen, causing you to wake up frequently throughout the night. This disrupts your sleep cycle and prevents your body from getting the needed rest.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, seeing our doctor at Pure Dental as soon as possible is essential. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Restlessness at night
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Before exploring medical treatments, our dentist in Lake Ridge, VA, often recommends lifestyle changes to alleviate mild cases of sleep apnea. Weight management is a significant aspect, as obesity is a risk factor for sleep apnea. Losing excess weight through diet and exercise can reduce the severity of symptoms.
Positional therapy is another option that involves changing sleeping positions, as some individuals experience sleep apnea primarily when sleeping on their backs. Sleeping on the side may help alleviate symptoms.
Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime is crucial, as these substances can relax the muscles in the throat, worsening sleep apnea. Quitting smoking is also recommended, as smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, worsening sleep apnea. Quitting smoking can improve symptoms.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea in Lake Ridge, VA. It involves wearing a custom-made mouthguard while you sleep. The mouthguard will keep your airway open and prevent your tongue from blocking your airway.
Another treatment option for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine, also known as a CPAP machine. This device delivers a steady stream of air through a mask you wear over your nose and mouth. This helps to keep your airway open and prevent you from snoring.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat sleep apnea. This may involve removing tissue from your palate or throat or correcting any structural abnormalities causing sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a treatable condition, and effective management can significantly improve the quality of life for those affected. Visit Pure Dental at 4565 Daisy Reid Ave. #210, Lake Ridge, VA 22192, or call (571) 285-2577 to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.