Man sleeping and using a sleep apnea device

Sleep Apnea and Dentistry: How Your Dentist Can Help

Smile On Dental Salon and Sleep Apnea Center Blog, Sleep Apnea

Did you know nearly 1 in 4 adults between 30 and 70 years old grapple with sleep apnea? This common sleep disruptor sneaks up silently, choking off the airway and causing breathing pauses—sometimes hundreds of times a night! Many aren’t even aware they’re being robbed of a peaceful night’s rest, leading to disturbed sleep rhythms.

Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center is at the forefront of addressing this condition. Our sleep dentists use the latest technology and specialized oral devices as an effective remedy for sleep apnea. As we understand the effects of sleep apnea on your quality of life, we can customize treatments to meet your needs.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder that stops you from breathing properly during sleep. Throughout the night, you may face numerous ‘apneas’ or temporary pauses in breathing, some of which can last up to 40 seconds and may occur up to 30 times per hour. Each time an apnea occurs, the brain sends a signal to wake you up just enough to change your position and restart breathing.

Unfortunately, this cycle often repeats itself multiple times an hour, leading to fragmented and non-restorative sleep. Over time, untreated OSA can have severe long-term health implications. These include an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke.

Imagine feeling perpetually drained, mood swings at the drop of a hat, and foggy thoughts clouding your day–that’s the reality for many battling sleep apnea. Ongoing sleep interruptions don’t just rob you of rest; they can plummet your overall quality of life. Addressing OSA promptly is the key to dodging these life-altering complications!

Recognizing the Signs

Can you believe many battling sleep apnea have no clue they’re even putting on nightly snore concerts? Often, a nudge from a partner or a sleepy-eyed complaint from a spouse brings it to light. But even if you’re sailing solo, there are telltale signs of obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Excessive daytime fatigue
  • Daytime concentration challenges
  • Excessive, loud snoring
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Night sweats
  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth when waking up
  • Jaw pain
  • Sudden awakenings with gasping or choking

Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea

At the Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center, we promote oral appliance therapy as a primary treatment for sleep apnea. These are custom-made, adjustable dental appliances worn during sleep, designed to hold the lower jaw forward. This reduces airway collapse, increases muscle tone, and creates more space in the airways, allowing you to breathe easier. These appliances can significantly reduce or even eradicate sleep apnea symptoms when used appropriately.

Oral appliances boast several advantages over other sleep apnea treatments:

  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Operate silently
  • Portable and easy to maintain
  • A viable alternative to CPAP pressure therapy for specific patients

Before initiating treatment, sleep dentists often recommend an at-home sleep apnea test, such as the Apnea Risk Evaluation System (ARES). This user-friendly device enables patients to assess their sleep in their own space. If test results confirm sleep apnea, immediate treatment is advised.

Improve Your Sleep

Sleep apnea isn’t just a thief in the night, swiping away peaceful slumbers; it’s a silent adversary that affects your health. But here’s the good news: armed with cutting-edge treatments and dental professionals in your corner, this is one battle you can conquer. If you or someone you love shows signs of sleep apnea, leap towards serene nights and a healthier tomorrow. Don’t just dream of better sleep; claim it!

For personalized care and treatment options, contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center today at our locations in Deerfield (224) 282-8939 or Lakeview (773) 525-5545.