Did you know that chronic snoring or frequent waking at night can be signs of a devastating-and potentially deadly-condition called sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is an incredibly common condition that affects the quality of life and health of millions of Americans each year, yet it often goes undiagnosed. Patients might live for many years with the negative symptoms associated with the condition, and left untreated, it can lead to serious and life-threatening health problems. The great news is that for many patients, an oral appliance is all that is needed to treat the condition. At The Flossery, the dental practice of Dr. Yasmin Chebbi, patients in the Waltham, Needham, and neighboring MA areas are encouraged to discuss any symptoms of sleep apnea that they are experiencing, such as snoring, and their dental treatment options.
Sleep apnea explained
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when your airway becomes blocked while you are sleeping. When this happens, your body is unable to receive the vital oxygen that it needs and your brain sends a signal that startles you awake. This cycle can happen up to hundreds of times per night. Over time, sleep apnea can lead to several negative health consequences, including serious health problems such as strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other deadly conditions.
For some patients with sleep apnea, snoring is the most noticeable sign that they have the condition. However, it can also cause other symptoms, such as:
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Feeling tired or unrested when you wake up
- Acid reflux
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headaches or migraines
- Clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep
- A choking or gasping sensation when you wake at night
Treatment for sleep apnea
Patients who are seeking a sleep apnea cure might think that a CPAP machine is their only option. While CPAP was the mainstay in sleep apnea treatment for many years, oral appliance therapy has become increasingly popular as a CPAP alternative in recent years.
After working with our team of sleep doctors to evaluate whether you have sleep apnea and determining that oral appliance therapy is right for you, we take dental impressions of your mouth and create a customized appliance called a mandibular repositioning device. It looks like a simple mouthguard, but is specially designed to keep your airway open at night while you sleep by positioning your lower jaw slightly forward and preventing the tongue from collapsing into the throat. This type of sleep apnea treatment has many benefits. It is:
- Approved by the FDA for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea
- More comfortable than a CPAP machine, with no bulky face masks or loud noises
- Easy to travel with – it is small and no electricity is required for it to function
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Mandibular Re-positioning Device
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, seeking a diagnosis and treatment could not just help you get a better night’s sleep, but also save your life! Call our Waltham, MA dental practice at (617) 639-1775 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Yasmin today.