Treating Sleep Apnea at the Dentist

Do you wake up in the morning feeling less than refreshed? Have you been told you snore and may have breathing issues during your sleep in the middle of the night? If so, you might have Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is not something to take lightly, but it is important to know that you’re not alone and that we can help. If you have trouble catching your breath at night and are looking for signs, symptoms, and treatment for sleep apnea in Benbrook, TX, Whittle Dentistry is here to help! We want to help you find the proper and safe treatment plan so you can get the rest you need to stay happy and healthy. Keep reading to find out common sleep apnea symptoms as well as some reasons to see a dentist to help treat sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is difficult for one person to diagnose on their own, because you’re sleeping. Sleep apnea is a known disorder where one briefly stops breathing as they sleep. It is dangerous for your health, and in extreme cases can even have fatal results. Anyone can have sleep apnea — even children. There are many signs and symptoms in which a patient may have some or all of them. It’s important that Dr. William Whittle diagnoses this condition as soon as possible to help prevent further health problems from occurring.

Now that you know what sleep apnea is, let’s talk about some of the common causes, signs, and symptoms.

Common Causes for Sleep Apnea:

  • Being overweight

  • Enlarged tonsils

  • Enlarged adenoids: A mass of enlarged lymphatic tissue between the back of the nose and the throat, often hindering speaking and breathing in young children. (Adenoids shrink as we get older so this is usually a problem unique to children)

  • Genetic causes such as an inherited narrow airway or a large tongue

  • Taking sedatives before bedtime

  • Consuming alcoholic beverages

  • Hypothyroidism: Abnormally low activity of the thyroid gland, resulting in retardation of growth and mental development in children and adults.

  • Acromegaly: Abnormal growth of hands, feet, and face caused by overproduction of growth hormones by the pituitary gland

  • Lung disease

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Long periods of pauses in which you do not breathe while sleeping

  • Snoring

  • Gasping during sleep

  • Difficulty staying awake or being tired during the day

  • Depression or mood swings

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory loss

  • Frequent headaches

Since you’re asleep when signs of sleep apnea occur, they are often reported to you by a spouse or a roommate. Healthy sleep is attainable for you (and your partner), and Dr. Whittle will be able to determine and suggest the appropriate sleep apnea treatment plan for you as soon as possible.

What is Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral Appliances are shaped like a mouth protector, and are worn when you’re sleeping. Oral therapy is designed specifically to provide the right amount of air for people who snore or have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  Oral appliances can be used alone or with another form of therapy through a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) to reduce snoring and treat obstructive sleep apnea to prevent the airway from collapsing.

Some Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy:

  • Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear.

  • Oral appliances are small and easy to carry when traveling.

  • Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.

If you know that you are living with sleep apnea and are unhappy with your current treatment plan, or are seeking treatment for the first time, contact Whittle Dentistry in Benbrook,TX today at 817.249.5522. Schedule an appointment with Dr. William Whittle to go over other sleep apnea treatment options and help you find a safer alternative treatment for you.