There are a plethora of reasons people struggle to sleep through the night. There are also those who feel as if even though they believe they’ve had a good night’s rest, struggle to stay awake throughout the day. If your problem, as it is for thousands of men and women, is that you snore, a dentist may be able to help you get back to sleep.
If you snore, there’s a good chance you have sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing several times a night for a few seconds at a time. There are two types of sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea (CSA), which is caused when your brain doesn’t send the proper signals for you to breathe and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is caused when the soft tissue at the back of your throat blocks the ability to breathe while you are asleep. While CSA may require specialists to discover the underlying cause, OSA may be fixed by a dentist with training in sleep apnea treatment.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
The gold standard for treating OSA has been CPAP. These are machines that have a hose with a mask attached to them. Patients wear the mask over their mouth and nose while they sleep, and the machine provides a continuous supply of air. They certainly work, but they are not for everyone. Some of the drawbacks include the noise of the machine, having to cart the machine around if you like to travel or go on business trips, and the mask itself can be uncomfortable. Because of this, many CPAP patients simply stop using the machine.
A better option for many people who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring is an oral appliance. These fit like retainers and are only worn while you sleep. They help keep your tongue in place, which allows you to breathe as you should. This in turn helps you sleep comfortably throughout the night.
The best thing to do if you are suffering from snoring, and you have been diagnosed by a doctor as having OSA risk factors, is to talk to your dentist about options. If an oral appliance is an option, you will be fitted with a custom-made “retainer.” You will feel much better during the day once you are finally getting some sleep.
If you would like to learn more about what to do for your sleep apnea, contact Janet at Whitmore Dental to arrange a consultation by calling Whitmore Dental at 877-779-4486. We are conveniently located at 5932 West Parker Road, Suite 600, Plano, TX 75093.