Millions of people lose quality sleep to conditions like obstructive sleep apnea and excessive snoring. Our sleep is precious. We need adequate rest to repair and regenerate our body’s complex systems. Untreated sleep apnea can have far-reaching effects on our mental and physical wellbeing. This is why seeking accurate diagnoses and effective treatment is important for safeguarding your health. Kessler Dental Associates offers comfortable treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and excessive snoring.
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat for many people – partially due to the fact that people are unaware of their breathing patterns during rest. OSA disrupts our ability to breathe properly because tissues surrounding the soft palate collapse into the airway. As we cease breathing (apnea), our brains send signals to wake the body to reinstate proper breathing. The cycle of apnea followed by slight wakefulness interrupts the natural progression through each stage of sleep and REM.
The symptoms of sleep apnea, such as persistent fatigue, mood disturbances like anxiety and depression, and overall malaise can be easily mistaken for other conditions and ailments. These factors mean that sleep studies are necessary to provide accurate diagnoses.
OSA and excessive snoring can develop after weight gain. Bulky throat tissue and occlusal issues also exacerbate airway problems during rest. Symptoms can also worsen when a person smokes or drinks -especially if they do so before bed. Certain medications that have sedating effects make airway obstruction more prevalent as well.
Lifestyle changes such as adopting a weight loss program and abstaining from smoking or drinking can improve some people’s symptoms.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Our practice uses oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea and excessive snoring. This involves wearing a mouthguard-like appliance during sleep. The oral appliance will position the lower mandible forward to widen the airway. Increasing the diameter of the airway prevents the air obstruction that leads to episodes of apnea. These appliances are custom made so that they fit securely in the mouth. Oral appliance therapy is a comfortable, quiet, and portable treatment option.
While oral appliance therapy is effective for promoting healthy breathing during sleep, it might not meet the needs of everyone. This is why we recommend consulting with one of our sleep dentists to evaluate your treatment options. Call Kessler Dental Associates today to set up an appointment.