Oral and dental devices that can make a difference
There can be many problems that might cause you to get a poor night's rest. Sometimes those problems can be a long continuous one that could affect your sleep every night – causing you to have nearly constant tiredness, making you feel like you hardly slept at all. Even though you may spend enough time in bed, you always feel like it is not enough. If you also snore, this is sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
One of the primary symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. This is one that your bed partner will definitely notice. Another potential symptom that your bed partner will also probably notice is that your breathing stops temporarily while you sleep. Then you will suddenly gasp or choke, wake up very briefly, and it will start again. This can happen many times in an hour – or just a few.
Although snoring does not always indicate sleep apnea, you may want to consider some additional symptoms. You may grind your teeth in your sleep – but you also may be unaware of it. Other symptoms may include:
Sleep without feeling rested
Lack of energy
Waking up and having a very dry or sore throat
Feeling sleepy while driving
Changes in mood
About Sleep Apnea
While snoring is not always a sign of sleep apnea, it often is. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious health problem, and it can be fatal. The reason for the health problems is that you are not getting enough oxygen in your blood to your heart and other organs. This can lead to high blood pressure, a heart attack, dementia, Alzheimer's, and more.
Because your breathing is often interrupted, you are likely to be waking up very briefly to start breathing again. It can be so short that you may not even remember waking. The constant waking and breathing problem is preventing you from entering into REM sleep, which is where you really get rested. Because you never enter this phase of sleep, it is why you are always tired and have a hard time concentrating.
If you have these symptoms, you should get a sleep apnea test (a polysomnograph). This test must be done in a sleep lab. If you are diagnosed with it, the test will reveal the type and severity of sleep apnea you have.
Once you have that information, the dentist can help you with snoring and sleep apnea. Both are likely being caused by a blockage of the airway which occurs when the soft tissue in your throat – possibly including your tongue – collapses into the airway.
The dentist can provide you with an oral appliance for sleep apnea. This device advances the lower jaw while you sleep, which prevents your airway from becoming blocked.
The dental device for sleep apnea is custom-made to fit your mouth. The dentist will take an x-ray to evaluate your jaw, teeth, and airway. An impression of your mouth and teeth will be made so that the device fits perfectly. It will be made in a lab and then adjusted when you return for the appointment.
After you have the device and have used it for a couple of weeks, you will likely need to return to the sleep doctor. This will be for another test to ensure that the device is working properly and helping your breathing. If it is working properly, and you have obstructive sleep apnea, you will find that your quality of sleep is greatly improved and you will feel rested.
Sleep Apnea Devices
Many people prefer sleep apnea devices from the dentist over a CPAP machine. CPAP machines can be bulky and the mask can come off while you sleep. Some people also have a hard time with pressurized air. A dental device offers CPAP alternatives that are FDA approved. There are more than 100 variations of these devices that have been approved. They are also much easier to carry with you when you travel because it is compact in size and it does not require any power.
Tips for Reducing Snoring
In addition to a dental appliance for sleep apnea, you can also take some steps to help reduce your snoring. One of the main causes of it is having excess weight. Losing a few pounds may help you stop snoring and let your partner get better sleep, too. Eliminating alcohol and tobacco can also help you get better sleep.
If you are looking for snoring solutions and a way to get better sleep, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you with sleep apnea treatment. He provides sleep apnea devices that can help you get a better quality of life. His offices are in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. Nearly all dental insurance plans are accepted. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.