If you are routinely failing to sleep well and through the night, it’s time to examine what the cause could be. Dentists can help with a number of problems that disrupt your sleep. Anything that deals with jaw clenching or teeth grinding falls under our purview. We are also able to aid you when your breathing is being disrupted each night.
If you wake with a start repeatedly, you may be suffering from snoring or sleep apnea. These sleep disorders interrupt your natural breathing while you are not fully conscious, and can have grave effects on your health.
Consequences of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is the precursor to sleep apnea, occurring when relaxed, close tissues in your throat vibrate as you breathe. Narrower air passages cause louder, more violent snoring, as you struggle to pull air through to your lungs. The major side effect of snoring is noise pollution and disruption of your spouse’s and family members’ sleep. But snoring can progress.
When snoring advances in severity, your breathing becomes completely blocked for brief periods of time. At this point, snoring has become sleep apnea (in full, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome). In the moment, these air blockages cause you to awake with a start. In the long run, gaps in your breathing can cause serious whole body health issues, including high blood pressure; increased chance of stroke, heart attack, diabetes and depression; and arrhythmias. Your heart and other organs will suffer long-term. Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable with simple oral appliances.
ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY
Similar to mouthguards worn to prevent teeth grinding, sleep apnea appliances prevent harmful movement of your mouth while you are asleep. There are two main types of oral appliances to stop sleep apnea:
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances, which pull your lower jaw slightly forward to prevent your tongue from falling towards the back of your throat.
Tongue Retaining Appliances, which gently suction your tongue away from your airway.
Wearing an oral appliance at night will allow your breathing to flow unchecked, and will preserve your health. Your loved ones will also rejoice at the lack of snoring sounds each night.
In addition to oral appliances, you may be asked to make lifestyle changes that will help alleviate your sleep apnea. Weight loss and exercise will tighten and widen your throat tissues. Surgery may also help relieve the problem. Are you tired and ready for a restful night’s sleep? Contact our dentist to learn whether we can correct your problem with an oral appliance.
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office (540) 775-7671