Are you keeping your partner awake with your snoring? Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition in which a person stops breathing while they’re asleep—sometimes for a split second and sometimes over a minute. The pauses happen when your muscles relax during sleep, blocking your airway. This leads to poor sleep that’s often interrupted and can be incredibly scary.
In addition to causing fatigue, sleep apnea can cause more serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for people with sleep apnea, all of which we offer at our dental practices.
Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose. Some symptoms to watch out for are:
- Waking up in the night, usually with a choking or gasping feeling
- Snoring loudly
- Exhaustion or lack of sleep
- Dry or sore throat upon waking
Does your partner tell you that you keep them up with your loud snoring? They may notice these symptoms before you do! While none of these symptoms necessarily guarantee that you have sleep apnea, you should see your doctor if they’re a regular occurrence so you can get a sleep apnea diagnosis via a simple, at-home sleep study.
One of the main treatments for sleep apnea is through oral appliance therapy. During this treatment, you’ll be fitted with a mouthpiece similar to a night guard that helps keep your jaw aligned and your airway open during sleep. This is one of the simplest and most comfortable forms of treatment for sleep apnea, and it’s covered by most insurance plans, including MediCare. Not all types of sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliance therapy. To see if this sleep apnea treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our offices.