Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
By Eastern Shore Smile Solutions
November 16, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: sleep apnea  

Your best night's sleep could be a phone call away. Eastern Shore Smile Solutions offers customized oral appliance therapy to counter one of today's most common sleep disorders: Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA affects millions of Americans, and loud snoring is just one symptom, says the National Sleep Foundation. Learn the details on sleep apnea and how Dr. Randall Hiers, Dr. Christopher Morrow and Dr. David Miller and Fu treat it in their Easton and Cambridge, MD offices.

What is sleep apnea?

People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing several times a night because their brains and respiratory systems don't communicate well (Central Sleep Apnea) or because their tongues block their airways as they sleep (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea, and the most easily diagnosed and treated.

The dentists at Eastern Shore Smile Solutions take a special interest in OSA because they understand how it affects the day to day lives of their patients and how it can harm their health as well. Besides causing excessively loud and disruptive snoring, sleep apnea impacts systemic health with problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Memory impairment
  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Daytime fatigue

While most sleep apnea patients are middle-aged men (and older), most anyone can experience sleep apnea if they have a large neck circumference, have allergies, are overweight or sleep on their backs consistently.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

The biggest problem is oxygen deprivation. Loud snoring, restlessness, startling awake, gasping for air and breathing cessation (noticeable by a spouse, roommate or family member) are obvious signs, leading to consistently poor rest and a household that can't sleep well.

Individuals should report these symptoms to their primary care physicians who may refer them to a sleep doctor for special at-home or in-office sleep monitoring. With a definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea, patient and doctor can agree upon a treatment plan to correct sleep deficits and optimize health and wellness. This is where Eastern Shore Smile Solutions comes in.

Oral appliance therapy

Upon reviewing your physician's findings and your symptoms, your  Easton and Cambridge dentist may advise wearing a customized oral appliance to treat your sleep apnea. Comfortably positioning the lower jaw in a more forward position, a "snore guard" opens the airway and keeps it open for the entire night.

While some patients require CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, machines to deliver oxygen to their airway, this bedside apparatus and mask can be too uncomfortable, noisy and claustrophobic for certain people. Oral appliance therapy can reduce or eliminate the need for CPAP and provide necessary symptom relief, and it's easily tolerated.

Find out more

You can manage sleep apnea. If your doctor would like you to explore oral appliance therapy, give Eastern Shore Smile Solutions a call. Talk to one of our expert dentists, and work out a treatment plan perfect for you. Phone (443) 205-4757.