Do you think you might have obstructive sleep apnea? If you do, it’s crucial to see a doctor soon. Left untreated, it can become life-threatening. Treatment for sleep apnea is available at St. Mary’s Dental in Mechanicsville.
Here are some signs that you may have sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Abrupt awakenings
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Frequently being tired during the day
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating
Recurring interruptions in breathing during sleep robs the brain of oxygen. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen, the heart slows down. When the person resumes breathing, the heart goes into panic mode to push the oxygen to the brain. Then the cycle repeats itself many times an hour each and every night. This stop-and-start action is dangerous for every organ in the body.
We Can Help
CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) may be the most well-known treatment for sleep apnea. But many people find CPAP clunky and uncomfortable. There is an alternative.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved OAT in the following circumstances:
- As a first-line treatment for people with mild to moderate OSA
- As a first-line treatment for patients with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
- As a combination therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)
A custom-fit oral appliance allows patients to breath normally during the night. A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea must be made by a medical doctor. If the physician recommends oral appliance therapy, he or she will refer the patient to a dentist who is trained in treating sleep disorders.