Sleep apnea is—and this is a good thing!—becoming increasingly well known by dental patients. Our Lincoln Park dentists encourage all of our patients to learn as much as they can about sleep apnea, so that they can seek adequate treatment for this condition when it pops up. In today’s short article we are answering some of the questions that we commonly field regarding obstructive sleep apnea—keep reading to learn more!
Q: How do I know if I’m suffering from sleep apnea?
A: It can be hard to know for sure, without undergoing a sleep study, whether you are dealing with sleep apnea. There are, however, some “red flag” symptoms that can indicate sleep apnea dysfunction. If you are snoring loudly every night, if you wake up in the night with a gasping or choking sensation, if you regularly feel fatigued during the day, you may be dealing with sleep apnea.
Q: Why does sleep apnea occur at night?
A: Sleep apnea presents at night because the obstruction, which prevents the patient from breathing easily, is caused by relaxed oral tissues. During the day, you unconsciously keep these oral tissues out of your airway. However, once you fall asleep, you are not able to prevent airway obstruction.
Q: What are some treatments for sleep apnea?
A: The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is for the patient to wear a CPAP machine at night. A CPAP forces air down the patient’s airway—the patient wears a mouthpiece to facilitate this airflow. Increasingly, people are looking for alternatives to CPAP treatment. Our dental team treats sleep apnea using unobtrusive oral appliances, which the patient wears at night. These mouthpieces guide the patient’s mouth into a health position that keeps his or her airway open. These mouthpieces have been shown to have much higher compliance rates than CPAP machines.
Don’t let sleep apnea rob you of the healthy sleep you need to feel great. Give our Lincoln Park sleep apnea dentists a call to schedule a consultation!