Snoring can be normal to occasionally happen when you sleep. But if it’s chronic, constant, and interfering with the sleep of your partner, it could be sleep apnea. You may not think of going to a dentist in Fallston, MD for sleep apnea treatment, but at Harford County Dentistry, Dr. Melissa Elliott is experienced in airway dentistry. What is sleep apnea and how can you get your snoring to go away?
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, is the most common breathing disorder that’s related to sleep. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. Your airway is being blocked, usually by the soft tissue in the back of your mouth collapsing. Any time you stop breathing, your brain and other organs aren’t getting the oxygen they need
While you may not think that having sleep apnea is a big deal, it can have many impacts on your overall health. People that have untreated sleep apnea have a higher risk of issues like heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, systemic disease, and even death.
How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?
As mentioned, snoring is one of the main signs of sleep apnea. If your snoring happens all night, every night, and other people in your household are being impacted, it’s something to worry about. You may also wake up a lot while gasping for air and trying to catch your breath. Due to the snoring and gasping, you’ll often wake up with dry mouth.
During the day, you’ll often feel tired and groggy, even though you went to bed at a decent time and thought you got the right amount of sleep. You may have difficulty concentrating at work or on anything else. Especially if this has been happening for a while, you’ll start to become moody and irritable, or feeling extremely fatigued every day.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
First, Dr. Elliott will do a sleep study. This online sleep assessment will help tell both you and Dr. Elliott determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea. Further sleep studies can be done if Dr. Elliott thinks that it’s necessary to diagnose your condition
Instead of a noisy and expensive CPAP machine, Dr. Elliott recommends oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea. Using an oral appliance is often more convenient and comfortable for patients. They don’t have to sleep with a mask over their face and an oral device is a lot easier to travel with
An oral appliance called a snoring mouthpiece is used while you’re sleeping. It fits similarly to a sports mouthguard. While wearing this appliance, your mouth and jaw will be kept in the ideal position. This keeps your airway open while you’re sleeping, as the tongue and soft tissue are in the proper alignment.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Your Fallston, Maryland Dentist
Your local dentist can help you stop snoring and get a good night’s sleep again. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!