If you do not know much about sleep apnea, you may think it is a condition that leads to restless sleep, snoring, and long nights for your partner. The truth about sleep apnea is much more dangerous. In particular, obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that results in your airway being blocked, sometimes hundreds of times a night, leading to a cessation of breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing elevated blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and more.
While this sounds dire, the good news is that your local Lancaster, California, dentist can help. Dr. Martin Orro and the team at The BLVD Dentist provide therapy for sleep apnea through oral appliances for patients diagnosed with sleep apnea by an MD. Let’s learn more about obstructive sleep apnea, its symptoms, and how an oral appliance can help.
Do you wake up each morning with chronic headaches or fatigue, making it hard to focus or concentrate as you carry out your daily tasks? This could (and likely is) due to sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your muscles and tissues relax, blocking your airway as you sleep. This leads to a decreased supply of oxygen, which sends a signal to your brain to wake you up. This can happen many times a night, and you may not even be aware of it. While you may think you are getting a good night’s rest, the reality is that your body is suffering the consequences of poor rest and not getting the recharge it needs to properly operate each day.
While it may take a while for you to feel affected by sleep apnea, it will eventually negatively impact your quality of life. It will hinder your ability to perform daily activities at an optimal level. You could experience symptoms including debilitating morning headaches, trouble focusing, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and more. Because many of these symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, sleep apnea can often be overlooked. However, if sleep apnea goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to serious health conditions, including:
For so long, a CPAP machine was one of the most widely used treatments for sleep apnea. These machines are bulky, loud, and can be uncomfortable to wear. If you travel often, this can add further complications to your treatment. CPAP machines use a large mask that covers your face and can lead to feelings of claustrophobia in some patients.
When you visit a local dentist like Dr. Orro and provide a prescription from an MD who has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, he can provide you with an oral sleep appliance designed to reposition your jaw so that your airway remains open as you sleep. Because your airway is not closing, you won’t suffer from poor rest and numerous wake-ups at night.
An oral appliance is worn like a mouthguard. They are easy to wear, are comfortable, and are easy to travel with. While many patients will elect a specific treatment, another option is to use a combination of both a CPAP machine and an oral appliance.
If you are ready to get a better, healthier night’s sleep free of obstructive sleep apnea, you should consider an oral appliance from Dr. Orro and the team at The BLVD Dentist. You can schedule an appointment by calling our Lancaster, CA office today at (661) 943-2938.