It’s estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a severe and sometimes life-threatening condition, but you can find a solution with the help of Hinna Chaudhry, DMD, at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York. The team can help develop custom-fit oral appliances to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Call the team today to schedule your appointment or request one online.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing suddenly stops for brief periods of time when you’re sleeping. It often impacts the quality of your sleep and can cause loud snoring.

There are different types of sleep apnea with different causes:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea results when proper signals don’t reach the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea manifests in a variety of ways, including:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing cessation during sleep
  • Startled awakenings due to shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches

Because sleep apnea impacts your quality of sleep, you may also notice that you’re excessively tired or suffer from attention problems. This lack of sleep can make you more irritable than usual.

Are there things you can do at home to improve sleep apnea?

When you have a mild case of sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend a few behavioral modifications to improve your condition. Simple things like changing your sleep position can alleviate symptoms, as can losing weight and getting 30 minutes of daily exercise.

If you smoke cigarettes, your dentist may recommend quitting. Avoiding alcohol can also improve sleep apnea.

In some cases, your dentist may suggest a saline nasal spray to help keep your nasal passages less congested.

How does a dentist treat sleep apnea?

When you see your dentist at Ardsley Dental Spa for sleep apnea, they may recommend wearing an oral appliance to keep your throat open. Most of these devices work by bringing your jaw forward when you sleep. That can alleviate snoring and improve your night breathing.

There are multiple apnea oral appliances, and your dentist may suggest trying more than one to see which gives you the best results. Most are custom-fit devices that resemble mouth guards. You wear these appliances only at night to keep your throat open.

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is another common treatment for sleep apnea. The device features a face mask that you place over your face and mouth at night, and the machine allows continuous airflow to your nose and mouth as you sleep, ensuring that you can breathe.

In some severe cases of sleep apnea, your dentist may advise you to consider surgery.

Call Ardsley Dental Spa to schedule your appointment or book online now.