Snoring lightly from time to time is fairly normal, but loud, frequent snoring could mean that you have a condition called sleep apnea. Since this condition can raise your risk of several health problems, including heart disease, it’s important to have it diagnosed and treated. At Signature Smiles, Dr. Naren Mikkilineni provides dental treatment for patients in Irving and Richardson, Texas, who struggle with sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Since snoring happens when you’re asleep, you might have trouble determining whether or not you have sleep apnea. Other sleep apnea signs to watch for include:
- Waking up suddenly and having shortness of breath
- Making choking sounds during sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Having a headache in the morning
- Feeling excessively tired during the day from poor sleep
- Having trouble paying attention
- Feeling irritable
What causes sleep apnea?
When you have sleep apnea, soft tissue blocks your airway and causes you to have several pauses when you’re breathing. This occurs when your muscles at the back of your throat become relaxed, which allows your uvula and other tissue in the area to obstruct your airway. When you have trouble breathing during sleep, your brain wakes you up repeatedly for brief amounts of time. Your risk of having sleep apnea is higher if you have certain risk factors, such as being overweight or having a family history of this condition.
Why do I need sleep apnea treatment?
Sleep apnea might seem like more of a nuisance or inconvenience, but it can increase your chance of having serious health issues. Some of these include the following:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Sleep apnea can also be dangerous in your day-to-day life by leading to a higher risk of falling asleep behind the wheel of your car or having accidents when you’re at work. You might also make mistakes and have trouble making decisions, which could also affect your job.
How can a dentist treat sleep apnea?
Conventional forms of treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while you sleep. While this can help you get a better night’s sleep, it’s not the most comfortable or convenient way to treat this condition. Dr. Mikkilineni can provide you with oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea instead.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, Dr. Mikkilineni can have a custom-made oral appliance created for you. Your treatment will include wearing this appliance only when you’re sleeping. These oral appliances help your jaw stay in a more forward position, which keeps your airway open.
If you have sleep apnea symptoms and need treatment, please contact Richardson Implant and Dentistry to make an appointment online of call today with Dr. Mikkilineni.