If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’re definitely not alone. About 22 million Americans have it, which means disrupted sleep, aggravated bed partners, and lots of tired people. But there are options to improve your quality of sleep and everyone’s quality of life.
The experienced dental team at AnnMarie Olson DDS PA in Austin, Texas, provides custom night guards for those with sleep apnea. These guards prevent the throat from closing so you — and your loved one — can get a proper night’s rest.
Sleep apnea explained
If you’ve ever been around someone with sleep apnea, you may hear them snorting and gasping for breath in their sleep. Apnea can occur when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe or when the airway collapses.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form of this condition and it causes snoring. The sufferer snores because their airway closes off, but they're still trying to breathe through it.
Those with sleep apnea can wake up 30 times per hour or more and this goes on all night long. They might not remember waking up, but they fail to enter restorative deep sleep every time they have to rouse themselves. Some people don’t even realize they have sleep apnea until someone else informs them.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
In addition to snoring, sleep apnea may contribute to:
- Morning headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Memory issues
- Problems learning or focusing
- Sore throat
Long-term sleep deprivation is harmful to your health. Without a deep, healing sleep, your body can’t repair itself and your hormones can’t do their job.
How does an oral appliance help?
We recommend using an oral appliance, or night guard, to control your sleep apnea. This appliance keeps airways open so you can breathe easily as you sleep. It works by keeping your jaw in place, which prevents your throat from closing. This simple solution reduces snoring and snorting and helps you sleep.
Because you won’t be trying to catch your breath all night, you’ll be able to sleep well and your body can rest and recover. As a result, you’ll feel refreshed each day instead of exhausted. You’ll be in a better mood, too.
Wearing an oral appliance to bed takes some getting used to, but you will adjust. Your night guard is custom-made to fit your mouth and jaw perfectly, so you’ll hardly notice it’s there.
Are there any other options?
We work closely with your primary care doctor or ear, nose, and throat specialist to make sure you get the care you need. Sometimes, they may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It’s another sleep apnea treatment that works by increasing air pressure in your throat so it can’t collapse. The air it delivers is calibrated to your needs and helps you sleep through the night.
If you think you have sleep apnea, make an appointment with one of our caring and experienced dentists today for a simple treatment that works. Use the online booking tool or call 512-212-5231.