Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for your health. Without it, you can have trouble making it through the day. Driving in a sleep-deprived state is as risky as it is exhausting. And, when you suffer from sleep apnea, you can suffer from a dangerous lack of oxygen during the night. At West Metro Dental, we can provide effective dental treatments to eliminate the problems associated with this serious condition.

Symptoms

The signs of sleep apnea can be subtle or obvious. If someone sleeps with you or near you, they might notice the symptoms before you do. Any of the following can happen:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air
  • Interrupted nighttime sleep
  • Extreme daytime sleepiness
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Shortness of breath as you awaken
  • Dry mouth after waking up
  • Sore throat in the morning
  • Chest pain when you awaken
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating while awake
  • Excessive mood changes
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure

Cause and Risk Factors

Obstructive sleep apnea happens because your airway collapses when you fall asleep and the soft tissues relax. Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone. You are more likely to have sleep apnea if you:

  • Are a male
  • Are a menopausal or post-menopausal woman
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have a large neck
  • Have a narrow airway
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Often have nasal congestion
  • Have diabetes
  • Are black
  • Are between ages 18 and 60
  • Have a family history for the condition
  • Smoke
  • Drink alcohol

Why Treatment Is Crucial

Treatment for sleep apnea can not only allow your partner to sleep better; it can improve your health or even save your life. When we treat you for sleep apnea, you can reduce or avoid your risk for conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Acid reflux
  • Diabetes

How We Can Help

Our dentist can fit you with a night guard to hold your airway open as you sleep. The night guard is custom-fitted to your mouth for maximum effectiveness and comfort. This dental appliance works by supporting your jaw in a forward position, allowing the upper airway to remain open all the time you are asleep.

Fitting the Night Guard

Your dentist makes an impression of your mouth to ensure the night guard fits you properly. The impression is sent to a lab, and the night guard is fabricated to your dentist’s specifications. When you come in to get the night guard, the dentist checks it again for fit and makes any minor adjustments necessary.

Doing Your Part

Getting a night guard is a good first step toward treating your obstructive sleep apnea. However, for it to work, you have to wear it. Insert the night guard whenever you get ready to sleep. You also need to keep the night guard clean and store it in its case when you are not using it. Our dentist or dental hygienist gives you instructions for proper cleaning and care.

Sleep Well

We want you to have the kind of restful sleep that will keep you safe and prepare you for the challenges of each new day. Talk to our dentist about sleep apnea now, and soon you will be sleeping well and waking rested and ready to take on the day.