If you have trouble sleeping at night and wake up feeling drowsy and fatigued throughout the day, you're not alone. It could be that you are suffering from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder experienced by millions of Americans. When it comes to diagnosing sleep apnea, it can be extremely difficult because many of the tried and true symptoms only occur at night while you're asleep. Often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, sleep apnea can lead to serious health conditions such as heart attack or stroke. At Gentling Dental Care, we can help you get the sleep you in with sleep apnea therapy in Rochester. Don't struggle to get out of bed anymore because of lack of sleep. Call and schedule an appointment with us today.
Affecting more than 22 million adults in the United States, sleep apnea occurs when your airway is blocked and breathing ceases for 10 or more seconds. This can happen once or hundreds of times each night. When this happens, your brain is triggered and tries to alert your body to wake up. This rise in blood pressure can be dangerous, especially if it happens over and over again.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it can cause serious problems with your overall health. In the most severe cases that are left untreated, OSA can lead to sudden death.
Since some of the symptoms most closely associated with sleep apnea occur at night, it can be difficult to know if you have the disorder. However, if you have a partner, they may be able to tell you if you snore extremely loud or if you stop breathing throughout the night. There are other ways you can tell if you might be suffering from sleep apnea. These include:
- Chronic fatigue (difficulty staying awake throughout the day)
- Memory loss
- Gasping for air when you wake at night
- Morning headaches
- Sore or dry throat
- High blood pressure
While it may seem hopeless, there are treatment options for sleep apnea! Your dentist in Rochester is highly skilled and trained in treating individuals who experience difficulty sleeping. Millions of Americans use CPAP therapy, and although effective, its bulkiness can make it difficult and uncomfortable to wear. This is why we offer oral appliance therapy! This small, compact, and portable device is worn in your mouth while sleeping. It is customized to your mouth and helps to keep your airway open and unobstructed. With this device, you'll begin to experience a more restful night's sleep and significantly lessen your chances of developing serious health complications.
If you're considering sleep apnea therapy in Rochester, it's important that you fully understand what happens during the entire process. At Gentling Dental Care, we're here to answer all of your questions so that you'll always be able to make good decisions that will help you get the rest you need. Here are some of the more common FAQ's that many patients have brought up; if you have any other concerns, don't be afraid to ask!
Many of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea - such as the chronic fatigue and memory problems resulting from a lack of quality rest - might also be signs of different issues. To confirm whether you have the disorder, you'll need to undergo a "sleep study." Performed in a lab or at home, sleep studies are a non-invasive way to monitor the brain and body while you're asleep to measure oxygen levels, eye movements, heart and breathing rates, snoring, and movement. An accurate diagnosis made with this data will tell us whether oral appliance therapy is right for you or if you require a different kind of treatment.
Snoring is a very common symptom of sleep apnea, but it's not always a definite sign. (In fact, there are a few rare cases where a patient with sleep apnea might not snore at all.) If you have a partner who sleeps nearby, ask them about the pattern of your snoring; if it's particularly loud, frequent and happens in bursts, there's a good chance that sleep apnea is the culprit.
Even if snoring isn't caused by sleep apnea, it could still have a negative effect on your health over time. It's important to figure out the underlying cause of snoring so that it can be treated correctly.
In addition to an oral appliance from your trusted dentist in Rochester, there are a few different ways you can help yourself sleep more soundly:
- Sleep apnea is particularly common in patients suffering from obesity, so losing weight can often help lessen your symptoms.
- Try sleeping on your side; sleeping on your back tends to put you at a higher risk of having your airway obstructed.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles that control breathing, and tobacco can inflame the airways; both of these can make sleep apnea worse.
- Use a humidifier in your room. Moist air will help clear the airways and decrease congestion levels.
Brush your appliance well after you take it out of your mouth in the morning. Don't use toothpaste; it could scratch the surface. Clean it with mild dish soap or a partial dentures cleaner instead. Also, you should make sure you brush and floss well before putting your appliance in at night; otherwise bacteria could become trapped underneath. Finally, avoid exposing your appliance to heat (such as from boiling water or direct sunlight) at all costs; it could cause it to warp and no longer fit properly.