Did you know that snoring could be harmful to your health? Loud snoring that’s accompanied by gasping for air, frequent awakenings, and non-refreshing sleep may point to a potentially serious condition called sleep apnea. Fortunately, many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be treated effectively with a custom oral appliance from Attleboro Family Dental Care in Attleboro, MA.
Your Snoring May Not Be A Laughing Matter
Almost everyone snores – lightly or loudly – at some times while asleep. But when the tissues inside the airway relax too much during sleep, the flow of air is partially or completely blocked. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea, and it can wreak havoc on your health.
Sleep apnea results in the person awakening frequently – dozens or even hundreds of times each night – although they may have no memory of waking up. There may be pattern of restlessness, jerks, and decreasing breaths until the airway is completely blocked. The air hunger causes the person to rouse, take a breath, and promptly fall back asleep.
People with sleep apnea hardly ever feel refreshed in the morning, and it’s no wonder. Lack of refreshing sleep can cause dry mouth, drowsiness, attention problems, high blood pressure, and accident-proneness (like falling asleep while driving).
Sleep apnea can also increase your risk for:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes
- Liver problems
If you or a loved one shows the signs of sleep apnea, it’s time to get things checked out by trained professionals.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Diagnosing sleep apnea requires the use of a sleep study during which your sleep patterns, brain waves, heart rhythm, breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and movement patterns are monitored. Once obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed, there are two first-line treatment approaches.
A Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine uses air pressure to hold your airway open. CPAPs are very effective when used as directed; however, studies show that many people only use their CPAPs intermittently. Many people are bothered by the mask they have to wear, by the tangling of the hose that attaches the mask to the machine, or by the noise of the machine.
When you consult our Attleboro, MA dental office, we’ll arrange for a sleep study if needed. Once the diagnosis is made, we can provide a customized oral appliance – much like an athletic mouth guard – the shifts the position of your jaw to hold your airway open. That eliminates the obstruction and helps you get deep, refreshing, healthy sleep. There’s a very short adjustment period with the appliance, but the vast majority of people quickly get used to it and really enjoy the change it makes in the quality of their sleep.
Don’t put your health in danger by letting sleep problems go untreated. Dr. Hikmat Hannawi and our other dentists will be happy to find your way to a deep, restful night’s sleep. Call Attleboro Family Dental Care today at 774-225-0618 to arrange a consultation.