If you have trouble sleeping at night or wake up feeling tired and groggy, you are not alone. You may be suffering from a disorder known as sleep apnea. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. In recent years, the disorder has become more widely recognized as a potentially life-damaging and life-shortening disease. At Winning Smile Dental Group, we are specially trained to recognize the symptoms and causes of sleep apnea, as well as provide oral appliance therapy. With a single appointment, Dr. Polly Reese can drastically improve your sleep and overall wellbeing!
Types of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated cessation of breath during the sleep cycle. If your breathing stops five to 30 times each hour throughout the night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form that occurs with the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat. Central sleep apnea is the result of improper signals sent from the brain to the muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the two. At Winning Smile Dental Group, we offer oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Symptoms and Causes of Sleep Apnea
Because symptoms often overlap, the type of sleep apnea you suffer from may be difficult to determine. During your appointment, Dr. Polly Reese will ask you a series of questions and perform an exam to better diagnose your condition. The principal symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and choking noises. Other common symptoms include:
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed until a partner notices the symptoms. If you or your sleep partner notice loud snoring, choking noises, intermittent gaps between breaths, or excessive daytime drowsiness, you may want to schedule an appointment with Winning Smile Dental Group.
While central and complex sleep apnea may be difficult to diagnose, obstructive sleep apnea has a very definitive cause. When the muscles in the back of your throat relax, your airway may narrow or close when your inhale. This can cause you to get an inadequate amount of breath and lower the level of oxygen in your blood. As a result, your brain senses your inability to properly breath and briefly awakens you from sleep. In many cases, this may be so brief that you do not remember it. These disruptions in sleep will impair your ability to reach a completely restful state.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a sleep guard to support the jaw in a forward position and maintain an open airway. During your appointment, Dr. Polly Reese will take an impression to make a 3D model of your teeth. The model is sent to our dental laboratory, where they will fabricate a custom-fit sleep guard using a special plastic. The sleep guard will be comfortable, easy to maintain, easy to transport, and hopefully an effective treatment against sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy can eliminate your symptoms, and drastically improve the quality of your sleep and your life!
Schedule an Appointment
If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, call (224) 307-4977, and schedule your appointment today!