When an individual suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it means that their upper airway becomes blocked while they’re asleep. OSA is the most common of the three types of sleep apnea and happens to about 25% of men and around 10% of women. Fortunately, our Cadillac dentists can help treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with a custom-made oral appliance.
Sleep Apnea Definition and Symptoms
A very common sleep disorder, sleep apnea affects millions of U.S. adults and involves frequent breathing interruptions while asleep. These nightly disruptions to the sleep cycle often result in a lack of energy throughout the day and decreased focus.
Risk factors related to sleep apnea include weak airway muscles, obesity, large tongue size, and more. Ultimately, this disorder can have negative effects on your long-term health as breathing interruptions prevent oxygen from getting into the lungs.
Common sleep apnea symptoms to seek treatment for include:
- Loud snoring
- Reduced breathing during sleep (often noticed by another person)
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Waking up with a dry mouth or headache
- Having a hard time staying asleep or staying awake
- Irritability after you’ve awoken
If you regularly have low energy despite a good sleep schedule, ask our dentists about a sleep apnea diagnosis. We can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist and work with them to develop a custom oral device if needed.
How Our Dentists Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea
The first step in identifying whether you have sleep apnea is to consult with your primary care provider. They can take into account your symptoms and may choose to observe you through a sleep study. If the results indicate mild to moderate sleep apnea, our dentists can offer an alternative to a traditional CPAP machine in the form of a personalized dental mouthpiece.
To create the nighttime appliance, our dentists will first take an impression of your teeth. This impression will come in handy during the shaping of the wearable device. Once your custom-made mouthpiece is ready, we’ll make sure it fits and instruct you to put it in place before bed. Not only will the device manage teeth grinding and clenching, but it will also push the lower jaw forward to open your airway.
Sleep Better and Smile More
Get treatment for your mild to moderate sleep apnea by speaking with our dentists in Cadillac, MI, today. Together we can create a custom-made oral appliance designed to alleviate symptoms associated with the sleep disorder. Request an appointment by calling LifeSmiles Dentistry at (231) 775-8281.