Sleep Apnea & the Dentist: How We Can Help
Wake up frequently throughout the night or rise in the morning groggy and often with a headache? It’s likely that Washington, MI, dentists can help you manage your mild to moderate condition with a custom device designed to move the lower jaw forward and open up the airway for better breathing at night.is at play. Our
Here’s how we can help with sleep apnea treatment.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common condition in which an individual’s breathing temporarily stops and starts again while sleeping. In some cases, this can be serious and put the individual at increased risk for health complications like high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.
Constantly waking due to inconsistent breathing can lead to overall fatigue even after a full night’s rest. This can mean feeling sluggish and generally unproductive throughout the day. For many, these symptoms can disrupt daily life and negatively affect personal relationships.
If you regularly have low energy despite a good sleep schedule, ask our dentists about a sleep apnea diagnosis. We can develop a custom-made oral appliance for you to wear and refer you to a sleep apnea specialist if needed.
Possible Sleep Apnea Warning Signs
Since there are multiple, symptoms can often overlap and complicate a precise diagnosis. However, there are several indicators related to sleep apnea that you, or a family member, should pay attention to and keep in mind.
Ask our dentists for a sleep apnea screening if you:
- Snore loudly
- Have been told by another person that you frequently stop breathing during sleep
- Gasp for air when sleeping
- Wake up with a dry mouth or headache
- Have a hard time staying asleep or staying awake
- Feel irritable after you’ve woken up
Depending on the type of sleep apnea you have and its severity, treatment at our Washington, MI, dental office can differ. Sometimes lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms while other times, a special oral device needs to be made to prevent throat blockage.
Am I at Risk of Developing Sleep Apnea?
There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It’s worth noting that while these are common, having just one of these risk factors does not mean you have the condition. Our dentists will need to properly screen you and may even consult with your primary care doctor if needed.
That said, one significant factor is obesity, as excess weight can lead to the accumulation of fat deposits in the throat, narrowing the airway. Other common risk factors include:
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Thicker neck circumference
- Alcohol or sedative use
- Being male
- Age (more common in middle-aged and older individuals)
Additionally, certain anatomical features like a narrow throat or enlarged tonsils and adenoids can contribute to OSA. Recognizing these risk factors is essential for early identification and management of sleep apnea.
Improve Your Sleep Quality and Overall Health
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms listed above? Our dentists in Washington, MI, can evaluate you for sleep apnea and work with you to determine appropriate treatment. Call Romeo Family Dentistry at (586) 752-3589 today to request an appointment.