By Dr. Shelia Shah
Snoring may seem like a harmless sleeping habit, but it may be having a more significant impact on your daily life than you think.
Commonly referred to as “sleep apnea,” snoring is basically a condition where your airways collapse, shrink or are blocked, preventing you from getting enough air while you breathe in your sleep. Those with chronic sleep apnea may have tried some at-home therapy methods to help with their snoring, such as using a humidifier or putting on a nose strip to open their airway. Many, however, don’t know that there is professional dental treatment available, which is designed to treat sleep apnea and help them enjoy the restful nights of sleep they deserve and need.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Sleep & Your Health
When you snore, your airway is not allowing you to take in the oxygen you need. As a more minor effect, this difficulty breathing often leads those suffering from sleep apnea to wake themselves up in the middle of the night, disrupting proper sleep cycles and decreasing the overall quality of their sleep. Chronic snorers will find they feel more tired in the morning and have less energy throughout the day since their body is not getting the rest it needs to recover fully from the previous day.
If left untreated over a long period of time, sleep apnea can have even more drastic adverse effects on your health, such as the increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, memory loss, and more.
Some of the most common treatments for snoring and sleep apnea are CPAP machines which keep your airways open, or surgery to open space in your airway for more natural breathing through a minor surgical procedure. However, there is an alternative that can be just as effective as these other methods, and it doesn’t require bulky machinery or any kind of invasive procedure. It is a simple dental appliance for sleep apnea.
This dental treatment involves creating a wearable appliance that you can use at night to position your mouth in a specific way to open your airways and allow for more comfortable and consistent breathing. The appliance itself is reminiscent of a mouthguard, making it easy to wear and care for. Each oral appliance is custom made, using high-quality images and molds of your teeth to craft an appliance that fits you perfectly. Compared to other treatment methods, the oral appliance is not only more affordable, but it is also recommended as a first choice before trying other methods since you can potentially avoid having to purchase a CPAP machine or undergo surgery.
If you have questions about oral appliance therapy for snoring or sleep apnea, contact a local dentist with expertise in such treatments. A dentist can not only help you get the smile of your dreams, but they can make sure you get plenty of sleep in which to enjoy those dreams too!
If you’re ready to get the quality sleep that you’ve been missing, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Shelia K. Shah, DMD, LLC, at MaconSmiles (www.MaconSmiles.com). Dr. Shah is a 1995 graduate of the Dental College at Augusta University, offering Laser, Cosmetic, and General Dentistry to those in Macon, GA, and surrounding communities. Dr. Shah is committed to staying on the cutting edge of advancements in the field of dentistry, including dental therapies for sleep apnea and TMJ patients.