Do you snore? Do you often feel more tired when you wake up than when you went to sleep? You could be at risk of developing sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway becomes momentarily blocked, cutting the flow of oxygen off to the vital organs. The airway becomes blocked when the soft tissues in the mouth relax and collapse towards the back of the throat.
The involuntary movement of the soft tissues can repeatedly close the airway during sleep, causing breathing and heart problems. However, Dr. Joseph A. Catanzano III, DDS treats sleep apnea in Washington, D.C. This dental concern is easily treatable with the use of oral appliances.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are many common symptoms that often accompany sleep apnea:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Consistent, loud snoring
- Waking up to breathe
- Headaches that arise in the morning
- Feeling excessively tired during the day
- Sleeping with an open mouth
Anyone can be diagnosed with sleep apnea, however, there are some groups that are more prone to the condition:
- Men over the age of 40
- Patients who have a large neck circumference
- Those who are overweight
- Diabetic patients
- Patients with high blood pressure
- Those with a genetic predisposition
These symptoms and risk factors are important to keep in mind. If you notice any of the signs of sleep apnea, call Foxhall Smiles for treatment.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Oral appliance therapy is a good option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. An oral appliance is similar to a mouthguard as it is customized to fit each patient. This solution opens up the airways and prevents the soft tissue in the back of the throat from collapsing.
The appliance is worn during sleep to help reposition the jaw. Oral appliance therapy helps patients get a full night of sleep. Dr. Catanzano will assess your teeth and gums before treatment to determine if oral appliance therapy is the right choice for you.
In addition to treating sleep apnea, Dr. Catanzano provides restorative dentistry services in Washington D.C.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
How long can sleep apnea go untreated?
Obstructive sleep apnea can reduce your life expectancy by 12 to 15 years if left untreated. OSA does not have a permanent cure, however diagnosis and therapy can reduce its complications.
Does your heart stop when you have sleep apnea?
Research leads to the idea that sleep apnea produces aberrant heart rhythms which may result in premature cardiac death. Sleep apnea can put the heart under mechanical stress since it can drop oxygen levels, triggering the fight-or-flight response, and changing the pressure in the chest when the upper airway closes.
What is the best position for someone with sleep apnea to sleep?
The optimal position for those with sleep apnea is on their side with their backs mostly straight. Also research shows that sleeping on your left side lowers your risk of sleep apnea even more than sleeping on your right.
Does stress cause apnea?
While we sleep, the muscles in the throat relax, which may result in obstructed airways causing sleep apnea. Although it is not a direct cause of sleep apnea, stress can also worsen some of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Exam & Consultation
Sleep apnea treatment can be painless and very effective at the dentist office. Call Foxhall Smiles for sleep apnea treatment at 202-315-2188. Request an appointment online anytime and our dental care team will get back to you promptly.