If you wake others up with your snoring, have a dry mouth in the mornings, and never seem to get restful sleep, you might have obstructive sleep apnea. This disease can be very dangerous and may raise your risk of stroke and heart attack if untreated. Fortunately, Aquila Dental in Chandler, Arizona, offers dental sleep medicine solutions that can help you. Call the office or request a consultation with Richard Higgs, DDS, online to learn more.

Dental Sleep Medicine Q & A

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious illness that causes repeated breathing interruptions as you sleep. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your throat muscles relax so much while sleeping that the soft tissues of your tongue and mouth collapse into your airway. This clogs your airway and stops your breathing. 

The typical obstructive sleep apnea cycle includes airway blockage, followed by snoring or gasping for air. This prompts a brief waking period that can be as short as a few seconds, followed by falling asleep again. Most obstructive sleep apnea sufferers don’t remember snoring or waking up many times during the night, so you might only hear about these things from a loved one.

What are the signs of obstructive sleep apnea?

The signs of obstructive sleep apnea can appear both at night and during the day. Some symptoms to watch out for include: 

  • Loud, persistent snoring
  • Startling awake often
  • Tossing and turning at night
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Daytime tiredness 
  • Daytime headaches

Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms are serious, and it’s important to seek help right away if you’re experiencing these issues. Without obstructive sleep apnea treatment, you’re two to three times more likely to suffer from a stroke, heart attack, or another heart and vascular problem.

A physician (a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine) who specializes in sleep medicine can diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. After diagnosis, contact the Aquila Dental team for expert noninvasive sleep apnea dental sleep medicine. 

How does the dentist treat obstructive sleep apnea?

The Aquila Dental providers are obstructive sleep apnea and snoring treatment specialists who are active members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. There are a few different solutions that could work for you, including: 

Lifestyle changes

In some situations, lifestyle changes like losing extra weight, exercising more often, or switching to back sleeping can help with obstructive sleep apnea.

Oral appliances

Oral appliances, which look like retainers, reposition your mouth tissue and muscles while you sleep to prevent breathing problems. Your Aquila Dental dentist takes high-tech impressions of your mouth to create optimum appliance fit. Oral appliances are often the most successful treatment for mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines 

CPAP machines, which require you to wear a mask as you sleep, inflate your lungs to keep you breathing consistently.

After you’re diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your Aquila Dental provider is ready to help you breathe safely again. Request an appointment online or call the office to speak with a team member directly.