Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the tissues of the soft palate and throat relax to a point at which they obstruct breathing. As a result, sufferers awaken repeatedly during the night, which can lead to chronic exhaustion, as well as more serious health conditions. Drs. Donald H. Ross and Neal Shah can usually treat OSA with a custom mouthguard. The comfortable, easy-to-wear device repositions the jaw to keep the airways open during sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment at our Atlanta, GA, practice, contact Feather Touch Dental Care today.
After just a few nights of wearing your mouthguard, you may feel more rested than you have felt in months.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are two primary types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea (CSA) and OSA. CSA occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals necessary to maintain breathing, and requires the attention of a specialist. While OSA is less complex, it does present symptoms that can compromise your quality of life. Sufferers can experience constant fatigue, headaches, irritability, and poor memory, among other issues. Loud snoring is often a tell-tale sign of OSA.
How Can a Dentist Treat OSA?
You may be surprised to learn that a dentist can treat sleep apnea. Drs. Shah and Ross can provide non-invasive care with a custom mouth guard. The custom device will fit comfortably over your teeth, pushing your lower jaw slightly forward. This will tighten your soft tissues and prevent them from blocking your throat. If needed, Dr. Shah or Dr. Ross can also provide a device designed to keep your tongue from falling back into your throat.
If you have received sleep apnea treatment elsewhere, your doctor may have given you a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. They require wearing a special mask that delivers a steady stream of oxygen throughout the night. Though these devices can be beneficial, many patients are unable to adjust to CPAP. Oral appliances are much more comfortable, and they can be just as effective as CPAP machines.
Why Is Sleep Apnea Treatment So Important?
After just a few nights of wearing your mouthguard, you may feel more rested than you have felt in months. Your mood, memory, and personal interactions will likely also improve.
Sleep apnea treatment can also have less noticeable but more far-reaching effects. OSA patients who suffer with the condition for many years are at a higher risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. Sleep apnea causes oxygen levels in your blood to fall. As a result, your blood pressure could go up, compromising your cardiovascular health. Fortunately, these risks can significantly decrease once you receive treatment for your sleep disorder.
Contact Us Today
If you find yourself feeling constantly fatigued in spite of a full night's sleep, or if a partner complains that you snore loudly, you may be experiencing sleep apnea. Contact our office to find out how we can help you achieve restful sleep and avoid very serious health complications.