How Your Dentist Can Help With Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a pretty common health condition, but perhaps the most shocking thing about it is that most people who have it don’t know that they do. Although snoring is one of its symptoms, not all snorers have sleep apnea. It’s important, however, that people figure out that they have sleep apnea and treat it because it can be a very dangerous condition. If you have sleep apnea in West Allis, find out more about treating it.
Snoring Versus Sleep Apnea
Many people snore, but this does not mean that they necessarily suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It’s possible that snoring is nothing more than a social inconvenience—tough on marriages and getting a full night’s sleep. If you are not sure if you have sleep apnea but you know you are a snorer, ask yourself if you have the following symptoms:
- Breathing cessation episodes during the night
- Choking or gasping after your breathing pauses
- Difficulty staying asleep during the night
- Decreased libido
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Irritability, depression, and mood swings
- Headaches in the morning when you wake up
- Sore throat or dry mouth after waking up
If you have these symptoms, you should talk to your dentist to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Dental or oral devices can be helpful in dealing with fairly moderate cases of sleep apnea. The mandibular advancement device is a common appliance that resembles a mouth guard that might be used for sports. What it does is forces the lower jaw down and slightly forward, keeping the airway open and making it easier for the person to breathe. There is also a splint-like device that keeps the tongue in the correct position, meaning the airway stays more open.
These devices have a high rate of success with patients—far more than the usual CPAP machine that people are often told to use after discovering they have sleep apnea. Sadly, after a year, very few people are using the CPAP machine, so their sleep apnea is again going untreated.
Don’t Suffer With Sleep Apnea
If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea in West Allis, give us a call. We can diagnose and treat you if you have sleep apnea. Make an appointment today!