Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea
Don’t let poor sleep and exhausted days get the better of you.
Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? If so, it’s important that you find the best treatment option to suit your needs and to ensure that you get the quality sleep you deserve. If you have sleep apnea, you must know that those feelings of extreme exhaustion and fatigue are due to obstructions within the airways that occur throughout the night while you are asleep. Our Woodbridge, VA, dentist, Dr. Sowmya Punaji, is here to tell you more about sleep apnea, why it should be treated and how we could help.
What is sleep apnea?
The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which someone experiences bouts of shallow or paused breathing throughout the course of the evening. These pauses in breath can happen hundreds of times during the night, and when this happens it means that there isn’t enough oxygen getting to the brain.
Why should sleep apnea be treated?
As you might imagine, if your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen while you sleep then you’ll certainly feel the effects the next day. We certainly don’t have to tell someone living with sleep apnea this. They understand how challenging it can be to get out of bed in the morning because of intense and long-lasting fatigue. This exhaustion also lingers throughout the day.
Besides the extreme exhaustion, you’ll be fighting if you don’t treat your sleep apnea, you may also put yourself at an increased risk for these serious and chronic health issues:
- Heart attack
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Sleep apnea can also affect your concentration, work performance, mood, stress levels, and even increase your chances of injury or accident. Why suffer from the effects of sleep apnea when it can be managed quite easily?
How can a dentist help me?
Dr. Punaji probably wasn’t the first person to come to mind when you thought about seeing a medical professional to address your sleep apnea. Luckily, we could end up being a valuable treatment tool for you. While CPAP therapy tends to be the most common treatment option for sleep apnea it isn’t the only option.
In fact, if you are dealing with mild or even a moderate form of sleep apnea then you may not even need that awkward CPAP facemask after all. Instead, you could benefit from a simple device known as oral appliance therapy.
This custom-made dental appliance is placed over your upper and lower teeth (much like a mouthguard) and it works either by repositioning the jaws to open the airways or to suppress the tongue to prevent it from obstructing the airways while you sleep. It’s comfort, lightweight, easy to care for and it could eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms altogether.
If you want to find out if oral appliance therapy is the best approach for managing your sleep apnea symptoms and improving your quality of sleep then turn to the sleep apnea dental team at Legacy Dental Care in Woodbridge, VA.
Snoring is typically a harmless (albeit annoying) problem that affects as many as 90 million Americans at any given time, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Equally common among young and old, male and female, snoring results from irregular breathing due to the relaxation of the throat muscles while a person sleeps. While occasional snoring does not necessarily mean that a person suffers from sleep apnea, chronic snoring is a sign of the condition, which affects more than 18 million American adults and an unspecified number of children, according to National Sleep Foundation estimates.
Sleep apnea causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the sleep cycle, which produces a number of symptoms and can increase the risk of other health problems if left untreated. Dr. Sowmya Punaji, a dentist in Woodbridge, VA, offers Oral Appliance Therapy to help manage the symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
How Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea Affects Your Sleep, Health, and Lifestyle
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive is the most common and occurs when the muscles of the throat relax during sleep and block the airway. Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs when there is a problem with the brain's signals to the muscles that control breathing. In some cases, a person can suffer from both central and obstructive sleep apnea at the same time.
The lack of adequate air flow throughout the night can lead to daytime sleepiness and exhaustion, headaches, memory problems and irritability, sore throat, weight gain and insomnia. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, obstructive sleep apnea can also increase the risk of developing serious health conditions like cardiac disease (heart failure and heart attacks), hypertension, diabetes and stroke.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment in Woodbridge, VA
Sleep apnea is most commonly diagnosed by another person witnessing the pauses in a person's breathing while they sleep. A dentist can prescribe an oral appliance to help stabilize the jaw and keep the airway open during sleep. Oral appliance therapy is a minimally invasive treatment method that has proven successful in managing sleep apnea in many cases.
Find a Dentist in Woodbridge, VA
Don't let sleep apnea interfere with your health and quality of life. For more information on how to identify your symptoms and for treatment options, contact Legacy Dental Care by calling (703) 494-4490 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Punaji today.