You know the sound of snoring. It can be loud, bothersome, and make your bed partner rely on earplugs or move to another room to enjoy some peace and quiet. But did you know snoring is one of the biggest symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea? It’s a relatively common disorder found in about 20 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds.
What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea
Most cases of sleep apnea need to be assessed by a certified sleep specialist who can conduct a thorough sleep study designed to help identify symptoms and the severity of your case. Sleep apnea is usually accompanied by snoring causing a lapse in breathing. Sometimes this makes you gasp for air (with or without waking up) before returning to normal breathing. Some patients experience this up to one hundred times every night leading to extreme daytime fatigue and more. There are three possible types of sleep apnea diagnoses, depending on how many times your experience one of these episodes per hour:
- Mild Sleep Apnea – 5-14 breathing interruptions
- Moderate Sleep Apnea – 15-30 breathing interruptions
- Severe Sleep Apnea – 30 or more breathing interruptions
Sleep apnea is most commonly treated by having patients use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices that can provide relief and better sleep using a steady stream of pressurized air delivered through a mask.
Do These Symptoms Sound Familiar?
Diagnosing sleep apnea can sometimes be tricky because its side effects are also commonly associated with other diseases and disorders. These are just a few of the sleep apnea symptoms you should be aware of:
- Night sweats
- Chest pain
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times
- Restlessness during sleep
- Depression and anxiety
- Irritability and mood swings
It’s important to be aware of your symptoms so you can share your experience with the doctors and team at Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis.
How Can The Dentist Improve My Sleep Apnea?
Our team of doctors has both the specialized training and advanced technology to help sleep apnea patients find relief using a safe, FDA-approved dental appliance for sleep apnea that’s custom-fitted to your mouth. We’ve experienced great success in helping CPAP-intolerant patients ditch their machines and masks once and for all.
When you come to our office for a consultation, we’ll start out with a discussion about your symptoms and sleep habits before going over your medical history. You’ll receive a thorough examination of your teeth, jaw, and bite along with digital x-rays to help us develop a personalized treatment plan that will work for you.
The good news is: dental appliances are extremely effective at treating both mild to moderate sleep apnea cases thanks to a method called “mandibular repositioning.” For over 30 years, dentists have relied on this safe, affordable treatment to gently push your lower jaw forward to open up your airway and throat while eliminating snoring and other negative sleep apnea side effects.