What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea happens while you’re asleep, so you might not notice symptoms at first. Usually, obstructive sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing many times during the night. Often, snoring or gasping for breath wakes you up briefly before you drift back to sleep.
Sleep apnea sufferers are often unaware of how restless their sleep actually is. Others might tell you that you snore sporadically, or toss and turn during the night. You might also have daytime symptoms like:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Concentration problems
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the mornings
- Headache when you wake up
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Waking up sweaty
Sleep apnea symptoms can take their toll on your body over time. Eventually, you could develop hypertension, heart problems, and other potentially life-threatening bodywide issues if you don’t get treatment.
How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?
Only a medical doctor (usually, a sleep specialist) can diagnose sleep apnea. If you’re having symptoms of sleep apnea or suspect that you might have this condition, your Prestige Family Dentistry dentist can give you a take-home sleep apnea screening test to determine whether you need to see a sleep doctor for a diagnosis.
Pharyngometer screening, which measures your airway precisely, is also available at Prestige Family Dentistry. Your pharyngometer screening can indicate whether you need to see a medical doctor for obstructive sleep apnea testing and diagnosis. It’s also helpful for measurements when making a custom oral sleep appliance.
After your obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, you can return to Prestige Family Dentistry for your custom oral sleep appliance. Prestige Family Dentistry works closely with local sleep doctors to help patients get obstructive sleep apnea relief.
How is obstructive sleep apnea treated?
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment depends on how severe your condition is. If you have mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, an oral sleep appliance called a mandibular-advancement device could be an excellent solution.
Oral sleep appliances are also considerably easier to use (and more comfortable) than a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine with a bulky mask. Mandibular-advancement devices are made according to your airway measurements and look like a retainer.
The device works by snapping into place over your top and bottom arches. Metal hinges join the top and bottom arches, and the device moves your bottom jaw and tongue forward while you sleep. This prevents over-relaxation of the back of the throat and keeps your airway open so you can breathe freely while asleep.
Need help for sleep apnea? Talk to your Prestige Family Dentistry provider to learn how an oral sleep appliance might help. Use online booking, or call the office for your consultation today.