The Importance Of A Good Night’s Rest
Do you have trouble getting a good night’s rest? Are you suffering from daytime tiredness, irritability, or poor decision making? If so, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be devastating to your overall health, depriving you of restful sleep and increasing your likelihood of developing serious mental and physical illnesses.
If you’re trying to get a good night’s rest and protect your health, the Lau doctors at Mid-Valley Dental Care offer oral appliance therapy as sleep apnea treatment.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses and interruptions in the breathing, and comes in three forms.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t regularly send signals to the body to breathe during sleep.
- Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common kind, occurs when the muscles in your throat collapse, constricting your airways and interrupting airflow.
- Complex sleep apnea is when both obstructive and complex sleep apnea are present at once.
Not only can sleep apnea rob you of vital REM sleep, but also in more severe cases, it can seriously damage your mental and physical health.
Symptoms & Effects of Sleep Apnea
There are many common symptoms of sleep apnea that can help you or your bed partner identify the issue. Possible symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime tiredness
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Mood and personality changes
Untreated sleep apnea can turn into full blown mental and physical illnesses, including:
- Heart disease
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Oral cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
Fortunately, we offer patients with mild sleep apnea a solution in the form of oral appliance therapy.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves using a custom-made device that is worn in your mouth while you sleep. The device is fitted over your teeth to keep your airways open. It also holds the jaws in proper position to prevent the tongue or soft tissues from blocking your airways. This can help alleviate your symptoms so you can reclaim your healthy sleeping habits.
What should I bring to my appointment?
We recommend that you bring a list of your symptoms and any unhealthy sleeping habits that you or your partner have noticed. If you are visiting us for the first time, please bring your insurance information as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
While there’s no way to tell for certain who will or won’t develop sleep apnea, there are some common factors that can increase the possibility of you developing symptoms. You may be at increased risk of sleep apnea if you have the following characteristics or habits:
- Sleeping on your back
- Older adult
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Regular nasal congestion
- Certain medical conditions such as diabetes
Diet and exercise has been proven to help alleviate symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Be sure to ask your primary care provider about what changes to your diet and exercise routine will be safe and effective for you. Changing your sleep position, going to bed regularly at the same time, and avoiding sedatives may also help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms.
For more severe cases of sleep apnea, or complex and central sleep apnea, you may need to see a specialist who can prescribe additional methods such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery. The Drs. Lau will carefully evaluate your case to decide if you need more specialized care.
Sleep apnea is often underdiagnosed, especially in women who tend to snore so quietly that their partners can’t hear them. Women also often exhibit different symptoms entirely from men. That’s why it’s vital to pay attention to all possible symptoms of sleep apnea, as well as check in with any bed partners and ask them if they’ve noticed anything while you’ve slept.
Sick & Tired of Feeling Sick & Tired? Call Mid-Valley Dental Care!
Sleep apnea doesn’t just deprive you of your sleep— it can lower your quality of life and shorten your life expectancy. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need.
If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, call Mid-Valley Dental Care’s Northridge office by dialing (818) 886-3500. You can also fill out our convenient contact form and a friendly team member will return your message shortly.