Sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles and soft tissue at the back of the throat collapse during sleep, momentarily blocking the airway. Because this occurs when a patient is unconscious, a patient may not know they have this condition. Though the brief cessation in breathing itself is often not life-threatening, sleep apnea can be dangerous if left undiagnosed. Dr. Sahil Goyal, a dentist in Laurel, MD, explains why you should seek sleep apnea treatment as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms?
The condition occurs while a patient is unconscious, so it can be difficult to know if this is happening to you. Partners who sleep beside a sleep apnea patient may report periods where they stopped breathing in the night or loud snoring. These could be signs of sleep apnea that should be mentioned to a health professional. Symptoms you may notice in yourself include gasping awake and grogginess or drowsiness during the day. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it is a good idea to contact a medical professional.
Why should I be concerned?
Though the brief periods of breathing cessation that occur with sleep apnea are often not life-threatening, you could be in danger of developing serious health issues. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a risk of heart problems and cognitive dysfunction. Both your physical and mental health can deteriorate due to the strain of continued respiratory restriction and lack of sleep. Protect your well-being with prompt sleep apnea treatment.
How is it treated?
Because the disorder affects the respiratory system, many patients seek treatment for sleep apnea from their general physician. A doctor will likely recommend using a CPAP machine: a device that uses forces concentrated air into the airway through a mask over the nose or mouth. This device is meant to be worn throughout the night, but some patients find it uncomfortable and disruptive.
Dentists can offer an alternative sleep apnea treatment. Your dentist can provide you with an oral device to be worn at night that can align your jaw to keep your airway open as you sleep. This mouthguard-like device is custom-made for your mouth so that it fits comfortably and allows you to sleep as you normally would.
Sleep apnea treatment available in Laurel, MD
Laurel Smiles offers sleep apnea treatment to patients of all ages in Laurel, MD. Dr. Goyal also specializes in general, cosmetic, implant, and restorative dental services. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 301.200.1315.