Sleep apnea is a serious health condition affecting millions of Americans. In addition to disrupting sleep and leading to lost productivity and miserable mornings, sleep apnea also contributes to high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and depression.
Many people who are suffering from sleep apnea are unaware of the problem that is causing their frequent headaches and sluggish feeling throughout the day. If you sleep with a partner, they are likely to describe heavy snoring punctuated by pauses in which breathing stops and snorts or gasps as you rouse slightly and resume breathing.
This cycle can happen many times during the night, preventing you from getting the deep restful sleep you need to restore your body and brain and get through the next day.
If you often feel tired and unrested and have one or more of the following risk factors (or if your partner has informed you that stop breathing during the night), it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about sleep apnea.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea:
A dentist cannot diagnose sleep apnea; your diagnosis can only be done by a sleep specialist in a sleep study facility. Your medical doctor can provide you with a referral.
The therapy that is most often prescribed to treat obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This therapy requires that you wear a mask while you sleep that constantly pushes air into your airways, keeping them open so that you don’t stop breathing.
While this therapy is extremely effective at treating sleep apnea, compliance is a major problem. Many people (about 50%) have difficulty sleeping with the mask in place or find the feeling of the constant airflow suffocating. People (and their partners) also often complain about the noise the machine makes.
At Apollonia Dental, we have another solution to treat sleep apnea that can work in place of or in conjunction with CPAP therapy.
The main goal when treating sleep apnea is to keep the airways open so that breathing can continue unobstructed. We can provide you with a customized device called a Thornton Adjustable Positioner or TAP appliance.
The appliance is worn in your mouth while you sleep and keeps your lower jaw held forward, which in turn keeps your airway open. The appliance is fitted specifically for your mouth and is comfortable to wear. We can adjust your appliance as necessary to make sure that you always have a perfect fit, and we’ll even teach you how to do it yourself to keep the appliance comfortable and effective.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, call Apollonia Dental today and find out if a TAP appliance is the right choice for you.
Hi Dr. Singh and Apollonia Dental Associates:
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