After a recent trip to your doctor to discuss your chronic snoring, did he recommend that you undergo a sleep study to look for sleep apnea? If so, you might be a bit confused as to how snoring relates to the sleep disorder. However, excessive snoring is often an indicator that there is an obstruction in the airway, which can cause you to stop breathing frequently while sleeping. If it is found that you have the disorder, you will be referred to your dentist in Columbus for treatment.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. However, that number is predicted to be far higher as it is believed that 80 percent of those with the condition remain undiagnosed.
Untreated sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing frequently throughout the night due to an obstruction in the airway. While the symptoms of the condition can be a nuisance, you must seek treatment or potentially deadly results can occur.
Spotting the Signs of Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea can be quite diverse, making it difficult to recognize the signs. While chronic snoring is the most common, other symptoms can include:
- Morning time headaches
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking frequently at night
- Waking with shortness of breath or coughing
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Depression and mood swings
- Sleep deprivation
Over time, the lack of proper oxygen levels can begin to take a toll on your oral health. It places an added strain on your heart, leading to cardiovascular disease. This increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
In the past, treatment for sleep apnea in Columbus often involved the use of a CPAP machine. This delivers a steady stream of air through a mask that is worn to keep the airways open. Although it is effective, many patients do not like to use it, so they tend to not follow their doctor’s recommendations.
Now, the most preferred treatment involves the use of a custom-fit oral appliance, which is why your dentist becomes an important role in your treatment. This appliance is similar to a mouthguard but it does not protect the teeth. Instead, it repositions the jaw forward to keep the airways open while you sleep.
When compared to more traditional treatments, it has a higher rate of success because patients are more likely to use it regularly because it is comfortable and accommodates their lifestyle.
Restore Your Health Today
If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, do not wait to seek treatment. Contact your dentist today to restore your health and sleep quality with an effective solution to breathe easy.
About Creative Smiles
At Creative Smiles, we provide high-quality dental care to the community. In addition to promoting the health of the teeth and gums, we provide many areas of specialty care, including treatment for sleep apnea. If you have questions about your treatment options, please contact our office today for a consultation.