We’re not going to sugarcoat it.
While snoring usually conjures up the playful image of a frustrated spouse covering their ears while their partner cuts some Z’s, it can actually be far more serious.
In fact, snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, which affects more than 12 million people in the United States each and every year. In fact, the term apnea literally means “without breath.
We don’t say all of this to scare you, but if you or a family member snore often and experience episodes of gasping for air in the middle of the night, it’s a good idea to seek treatment for sleep apnea, whether you’ve officially been diagnosed or not.
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.
(NOTE: to read even more about sleep apnea, read our blog post: https://www.shiningsmilesga.com/what-is-sleep-apnea/)
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- 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
- Excessive sleepiness throughout the day (called hypersomnia)
If you experience any combination of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
So how do you treat or fix sleep apnea?
We Have the Solution to Fix Sleep Apnea, and it Isn’t a CPAP Machine
CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in the United States, and for good reason; it works well…if the patient can handle it.
Sure, CPAP may “work,” but at what cost? Do you really want to wear a loud, bulky machine over your face every night when you go to sleep?
Doesn’t sound too good, does it?
There’s a Better Solution, and We Have It
We offer two unique, dentist prescribed solutions that can mitigate or even eliminate the symptoms associated with snoring and sleep apnea.
In fact, at Shining Smiles Family Dentistry we offer these intraoral appliances to patients with overwhelming success.
In general, these appliances work by slightly repositioning the jaw to allow you to breathe easier, and disrupt normal snoring patterns. The devices are lightweight, flexible, and most patients wear them without any discomfort.
Is Seeing a Dentist for Sleep Apnea a Good Idea? We Think So!
We understand that receiving a device from a dentist to relieve your snoring or sleep apnea symptoms may be a little unconventional, but as more people are being made aware of this new alternative to CPAP, it’s growing rapidly in popularity.
Are you ready to take the next step and try the #1 alternative to CPAP for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea treatment? Contact us today!