What is Sleep Apnea?

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According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, “It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.”

So what is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea (and it’s the focus of this blog post). The soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses while sleeping, which creates a blocked airway.

A blocked airway causes several interruptions in a person’s breathing. Even though the interruptions are brief, they can occur hundreds of times throughout the night.

Doesn’t sound healthy or safe, does it?

Sleep apnea is never a good thing. It should be accurately diagnosed and effectively treated in a timely manner.

Sleep apnea signs and symptoms: How to know if you have sleep apnea

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:

- Episodes in which you stop breathing while sleeping (oftentimes noticed by another person)

- Gasping for air/oxygen while sleeping

- Consistent dry mouth upon awakening

- Waking up with a headache

- Loud (often disruptive) snoring

- Difficulty paying attention throughout the day

- Irritability

- Excessive sleepiness throughout the day (called hypersomnia)

- Insomnia

If you experience any combination of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist. He or she can evaluate your symptoms to determine if further testing is necessary, such as a sleep study (a sleep study will determine if you have sleep apnea).

Think sleep apnea isn’t a serious problem? Think again.

You may have seen sleep apnea-related commercials on TV or maybe you know someone who has sleep apnea.

Is sleep apnea really a problem for these people? Could sleep apnea be a serious issue? Will sleep apnea just go away on its own?

We’re here to tell you that sleep apnea is a real problem AND a serious problem.

Sleep apnea can negatively impact you and others around you on a daily basis. You see...

— A person who has untreated sleep apnea gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and can put everyone else’s life in danger. You see, he/she can fall asleep at the wheel, which is never a good thing.

— A person who has sleep apnea typically snores and gasps for air at night. His/her bed partner typically will not get a good night’s rest (and no one wants to deal with a cranky, sleep-deprived wife/husband day in and day out).

— A mother or father who works full time caring for a newborn or a young child might not have the energy or the patience to be the best mommy or daddy. You see, sleep apnea causes restless nights (in addition to the newborn waking up countless times throughout the night...talk about being sleep deprived!).

So you see, sleep apnea can negatively impact you and others around you on a daily basis. Timely treatment is necessary.

In fact, if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Headaches

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Heart failure

  • Irregular heartbeats

(Sources: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/symptoms-of-sleep-apnea and https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea)

Pretty serious, right?

We want what’s best for you, so if you have sleep apnea get the most convenient treatment option out there...

A Sleep Apnea Intraoral Appliance

What is a sleep apnea intraoral appliance?

An intraoral appliance is similar in appearance to a mouthguard. It can mitigate or even eliminate the symptoms associated with snoring and sleep apnea.

In general, intraoral appliances work by slightly repositioning the jaw to promote easier breathing and less snoring. Many people consider the intraoral appliance as a better treatment, far superior to other sleep apnea devices.

Actually, in 1980, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device was invented by Collin Sullivan as a treatment for sleep apnea. Many people use the CPAP device to treat sleep apnea.

However, with advancements and more research, the intraoral appliance was designed with sleep apnea patients in mind.

Most likely, for CPAP users, an intraoral appliance would suit them better (we’ll get into the reasons a bit later).

At Shining Smiles Family Dentistry, Dr. Mohip will make sure the sleep apnea mouthguard/intraoral appliance is custom fit to your mouth. This will ensure maximum comfortability and effectiveness.

(NOTE: We often have specials to save you money on dental work, including sleep apnea treatment, so be sure to check our website regularly: https://www.shiningsmilesga.com/specials/.)

Why is an intraoral appliance one of the best treatment options out there? Why choose a sleep apnea mouthguard versus a CPAP machine?

Convenience — you don’t have to lug around a bulky CPAP machine; just slip the appliance in your pocket or purse when traveling.

Easy to use — putting the appliance in and out of your mouth is a breeze.

No electricity needed — forget about positioning your bed next to an electrical outlet to plug in a CPAP machine…no electricity required for this appliance!

Comfort — everyone who uses the lightweight, flexible appliance comments on how comfortable it is to wear while sleeping (you’ll see once you start wearing yours!).

What’s next? Call to schedule your appointment.

The longer you wait without getting effective treatment, the worse the sleep apnea symptoms can get. It will not go away on its own, so don’t try (no wishful thinking here).

Don’t put yourself and others around you in danger; call your dentist or doctor today for an appointment.

If you live in or near Marietta, GA, we invite you to call Shining Smiles Family Dentistry for sleep apnea treatment. Our dental office offers intraoral appliances to patients with overwhelming success.

So don’t suffer from sleep apnea any longer. Call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mohip at Shining Smiles Family Dentistry.

(NOTE: We often have specials to save you money on dental work, including sleep apnea treatment, so be sure to check our website regularly: https://www.shiningsmilesga.com/specials/.)

To learn more about Dr. Shaila Mohip, click here.

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