My Blog

Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea

By Legacy Dental Care
January 02, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Do you have sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a common, yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is a serious, disorder that occurs when a patient's breathing is interrupted during sleep. Dr. Sowmya Punaji at Legacy Dental Care, which is located in Woodbridge, VA, offers state-of-the-art treatments for sleep apnea.

About Sleep Apnea

People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly while asleep. Pauses in breathing usually last between 10 and 30 seconds. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The symptoms of sleep apnea include observed pauses in breathing, loud snoring, and gasping for air during sleep. People with sleep apnea may also experience insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood swings, depression, or irritability. It's important to consult with a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. 

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea has many different possible causes. Sleep apnea is commonly caused by excess weight. Sleep apnea is more common in older people. Excessive alcohol use, smoking, and the use of sedatives are also associated with sleep apnea. Healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea. 

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea 

Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on medical histories, a physical examination, and sleep study results. Sleep studies can be done at home or in a special center. Before diagnosing you with sleep apnea, your healthcare provider will rule out other medical reasons that may be causing your symptoms.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

For a mild case of sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or avoiding alcohol. Oral appliance therapy is also used to treat sleep apnea. The device keeps the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for this disorder.

ZZZ! Stop sleep apnea today. Call Legacy Dental Care at 703-494-4490 today to schedule a consultation in Woodbridge, VA. You have the power to manage your health. Remember—small steps can add up to big improvements in your health.

By Legacy Dental Care
May 01, 2018
Category: Sleep Dentistry
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Don’t let poor sleep and exhausted days get the better of you.sleep apnea

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:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma

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.

By Legacy Dental Care
May 04, 2017
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

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.