Are you feeling restless due to sleep apnea? You are not alone. Nearly 18 million adults suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, and the side effects can profoundly impact your quality of life. Fortunately, relief may be easier than you think. At Hunt Valley Dental in Hunt Valley, Maryland, we offer dental sleep medicine which uses custom-made oral appliances to treat the condition. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or believe you may have the condition, we encourage you to contact us today for a consultation.
Sleep apnea is a condition characterised by temporary pauses in breathing throughout the night. These pauses can occur upward of 30 or more times per hour and last for ten seconds or longer. One of the main signs of sleep apnea is disruptive snoring that the individual may not even be aware is occurring. Individuals with sleep apnea often report feeling restless, depressed, or anxious and may suffer from chronic headaches, mood swings, and weight gain.
The first step in treating sleep apnea is a comprehensive evaluation. During this appointment, the dentist will discuss your medical history and symptoms and examine the tissues of the mouth and throat. In some cases, a sleep study may be recommended for a complete diagnosis.
Traditional treatment for sleep apnea from a medical doctor is often in the form of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device. While this treatment is highly effective, the machine can be loud and cumbersome, lowering the compliance rate.
We may recommend oral appliance therapy with a mandibular repositioning device in dental sleep apnea treatment. The oral appliance works by repositioning the lower jaw downward and forward to maintain an open airway while you sleep. This device is custom-made from impressions of your mouth to ensure a secure, comfortable fit.
In some cases, combined therapy of both an oral appliance and a CPAP may be recommended.