Sleep is important. However, for millions of Americans, getting the quality sleep you need to wake rested and refreshed seems impossible. No matter what time you go to bed, you wake up feeling exhausted. Poor sleep night after night is often caused by sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, and it can have a significant impact on your mental, emotional and physical health. At National Dental Hicksville, we can help.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Your body goes through regular cycles while you are asleep. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects these sleep cycles, thereby affecting your quality of sleep. During the night, your breathing is stopped, and you wake up, even if you are completely unaware. This is known as an apneic event. Apneic events can last anywhere from several second all the way up to a minute and a half. With more mild sleep apnea, you may have anywhere between 5 and 14 apneic events per sleeping hour, where more severe sleep apnea causes 30 or more events per sleeping hour. Sleep apnea may be caused by obstructions in your airway (obstructive sleep apnea), a communication failure between your brain and the muscles that control your breathing (central sleep apnea), or a mixture of the two.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are several symptoms that accompany sleep apnea:
- Daytime sleepiness.
- Falling asleep during the day.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
- Health effects, such as hypertension.
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Before sleep apnea can be treated, it must first be diagnosed. This is usually done with a sleep study, which is performed by trained sleep experts. Sleep specialists are individuals who can not only help to diagnose your sleeping issues but can help you to manage them as well. At National Dental, we work with an extensive network of sleep experts, all of whom can help to provide you with excellent treatment.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy
Typically, a C-PAP machine is prescribed for those with sleep apnea. A C-PAP consists of a nose piece that covers your nose while you sleep, while a machine delivers continuous positive air pressure. This machine is not for everyone. For mild to moderate sleep apnea, we can help with oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a special device that is similar in nature to a mouth guard. The device fits over your top teeth and is designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment, preventing your lower jaw from sliding back. This then keeps your tongue and other soft tissues from sliding back and blocking your throat.
You could go to your local pharmacy and pick up a mouth guard there. However, these mouth guards are not designed for your specific needs, and can often make the issues worse. It is essential that you have an oral appliance that fits your mouth. The oral appliance we offer is custom created from a 3-dimensional “mold” of your mouth. The image offers exact measurements of your mouth so that we can create a device that perfectly fits over your teeth.>> Learn more about Oral Appliance Therapy and how it can help you!
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, there is help. Contact National Dental’s Sleep Department today at (516) 208-4276 to find just what we can do for you.