Do you frequently wake up to the sound of loud snoring during the night? Worse, have you ever noticed your loved one gasping for air during the night? Many people view snoring as an annoyance, sadly without ever realizing that it could actually be a warning sign of a sleeping disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Sadly, it can lead to a host of health issues, if not addressed. If you suspect you or a loved one could be suffering from sleep apnea, it is best to schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist, to learn about the ways sleep apnea can be treated!
Know the Warning Signs of Sleeping Disorders
Loud snoring is just one warning sign of sleep apnea. Other common effects include ongoing fatigue or a sense of tiredness, difficulty focusing, and even irritability. Over time, this can also lead to high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart-related problems. Therefore it is important to address sleep apnea, both to improve the quality of one’s sleep, but also in order to protect the overall wellbeing and health.
How a Dentist Can Help Treat OSA
In many cases, OSA can be treated with a less invasive alternative to the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, machines, namely a sleep appliance. These devices are quite similar to the mouthguards many teenagers are asked to wear during orthodontic treatment, or even those used to protect athlete’s smiles during sporting events.
However, the purpose of a sleep device is to help prohibit the soft tissues in the mouth from blocking the airway during sleep, so that a person can breathe easily and consistently during the night.