What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea (OSA) is a disruptive and potentially life-threatening condition that deprives your body of a steady flow of oxygen. With OSA, the airway is blocked or has collapsed, leading to pauses in breathing and / or snoring.
Patients with OSA experience multiple pauses in their breathing every night. It’s not uncommon to experience these pauses anywhere from 5 to 30 times an hour. Each episode may last for a few seconds or even as long as a few minutes.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
One of the first signs of sleep apnea manifests in tooth grinding. Your dentist will inspect your teeth to see if there are signs of wear and tear. Grinding in and of itself is a cause for multiple concerns. Grinding causes tooth wear, cavities, and breakage and affects the health of your gums. Chronic snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat (indicating breathing through your mouth), or scalloping of the tongue, and also constant fatigue or daytime drowsiness.
Dentists are usually the earliest detectors of sleep disorders
Dentistry and sleeping don’t seem to have an obvious link, but the science is there. Your dentist, in many instances, sees you more frequently than your medical doctor and is in a unique position to identify symptoms of sleep apnea during routine wellness visits. At our dental office in Rochester, NY we are trained to look for telltale physical signs as well as review with you a comprehensive list of questions.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
During sleep apnea you cease breathing for a small amount of time, resulting in interruptions in sleep. You might stop breathing because the muscles in the back of your throat are slack, the tongue is too large, or the jaw is too small–all these reasons can cause obstructions in your airway.
These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and may happen multiple times an hour. This stop in breathing results in people gasping for air and waking up, which naturally diminishes your quality of sleep and results in disrupted sleep, low oxygen levels, fatigue during the day, and problems with concentration and memory.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, diabetes, obesity and stroke.
Treatment Without Masks or Surgery
Correcting your sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily have to involve wearing a CPAP mask or enduring potentially painful surgery. Now we can offer you an easy and discreet way to help you sleep better and potentially save your life!
The doctors at Edgeview Dental, DDS use state-of-the-art digital imaging technology called SICAT to analyze your upper airway to identify the blockage. We’ll share this information with your physician, who will determine if Optisleep is the safest choice for you. Based on this information, we will create a customized appliance that will help you breathe easier at night and allow you to wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.
Our customized dental mouthpieces are:
- A non-surgical alternative – Using a mouthpiece requires no surgery or other alterations to your mouth
- Comfortable – We customize your mouthpiece to fit securely and easily in your mouth so you don’t notice it while you are sleeping.
- Removable – Wear the mouthpiece while you sleep and take it out when you are awake.
- Convenient – The mouthpiece is small and easy to insert and remove. No machines or equipment are required.