Sleep Apnea: An Overview
Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder involving repeated pauses and struggling to breathe while asleep. This may present itself as loud snoring or sudden gasps of air in the middle of sleep, which may wake you up periodically throughout the night. Most patients know they have sleep apnea because they are told by roommates or sleeping partners that they snore.
Typically, this is caused by the muscles of the throat and mouth relaxing during sleep to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and create a blockage that restricts your breathing. Laurel Smiles Dental Care provides solutions for sleep apnea in Laurel, MD.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Laurel, MD
If you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnea, we are here to help you. As your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, we are happy to answer any questions you may have on our sleep apnea treatment solutions. Here are some common questions about sleep apnea that our patients often ask us:
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
If your roommate or sleeping partner has complained about your consistent loud snoring, there is a good chance you are suffering from sleep apnea. You may also notice that you struggle with daytime sleepiness due to a lack of a good night’s rest. A sleep study may be needed to properly diagnose you.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
While loud snoring is the primary symptom of sleep apnea, patients may also experience a variety of other symptoms including abrupt awakenings, episodes of gasping for air, and difficulty in getting a good night’s sleep.
If left untreated, these symptoms can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and car accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel. If you notice the signs of sleep apnea, make sure to report these issues to your doctor and dentist immediately so that we can begin finding a treatment for you.
How can a dentist treat my sleep apnea?
In situations of mild to moderate sleep apnea, a night guard may be deemed the appropriate treatment. A night guard is very similar to a sports mouthguard because it is created to fit comfortably into your mouth while you sleep. This helps keep the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing, which enables the airway to stay open during sleep.
Patients enjoy our custom-fit night guards because they are more portable and compact sleep apnea treatment option than regular CPAP machines. We are happy to provide custom-fit night guards as sleep apnea treatment at Laurel Smiles Dental Care. Our night guards are made from dental impressions of your own smile, to ensure optimal comfort throughout the night.
What is the best position to sleep if you have sleep apnea?
It is recommended that patients with sleep apnea sleep on their side, preferably their right. This allows for increased airflow.
What foods cause sleep apnea?
Foods high in dairy increase patients’ risk of sleep apnea. Foods like milk, cheese, and bananas all increase the body’s mucus production. This blocks airways triggering, or making sleep apnea worse.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our office today at 301-200-1315 or schedule an appointment online. Don’t procrastinate on seeking help for your sleep apnea, especially if you find it is affecting your day-to-day quality of life. Our team understands the importance of regaining your piece of mind. We look forward to helping you regain a good night’s rest.