At Value Dental Centers Chino, our team is committed to your overall oral and physical health. Therefore, we proudly offer highly effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition in which your airways close off while you are asleep. You will resume normal breathing when you wake up. However, this condition can result in dozens or even hundreds of interruptions to your sleep each night. It can also cause loud snoring and many other symptoms. When we treat snoring and sleep apnea at our Chino, CA practice, we provide custom-made oral appliances. These devices are conservative, yet highly effective, and most patients find it easy to sleep while wearing the appliances.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Its Causes
When you fall asleep, your whole body starts to relax. However, if you have OSA, your throat, soft palate, and/or tongue relax too much. As you reach the deeper stages of sleep, the soft tissues fall back into your throat, blocking airflow. When this occurs, you will wake up or move to a lighter stage of sleep, although you may be unaware of these disturbances.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone. Nevertheless, certain factors can raise your risk for OSA. You are more likely to suffer from the condition if:
- You are male
- You are overweight
- You smoke
- You are a senior
- You have an unusually narrow neck circumference
- Someone in your family suffers from OSA
Do You Suffer from Sleep Apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, you will often be unaware that you are waking up during the night. Thus, we will often first diagnose the condition based on your symptoms. Snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea. As your soft tissues block your throat, air will push past them when you breathe, creating noisy vibrations. It is important to know, however, that not everyone who snores automatically has OSA.
Other signs of sleep apnea include:
- Constant exhaustion and daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on cognitive tasks
- Irritability and mood swings
- Decreased energy
- Frequent need to use the bathroom at night
If you present with any of these symptoms, we may refer you for a sleep study for a more conclusive diagnosis.
Oral Appliances Offer Effective Treatment for OSA and Snoring
Once you have been diagnosed with OSA, we will usually recommend a small oral appliance to treat the condition. Your device will fit over your teeth, pushing your lower jaw forward. This gentle pressure will tighten your soft palate, in turn opening up your airways. If needed, we can provide a tongue retaining device that will keep your tongue from falling back into your throat.
Our appliances are more comfortable, convenient, and subtle than traditional CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. Most importantly, they are just as effective, if not more so. In most cases, you will enjoy a better night’s sleep after just a few nights.
Even if you do not suffer from sleep apnea, an oral appliance may benefit you if you are a chronic snorer. Again, the device will tighten your soft tissues so that air does not vibrate noisily as you breathe.
Why Is Sleep Apnea Treatment So Important?
When you are suffering the symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. First, appropriate care will improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall physical wellbeing. In addition, treatment can enhance your overall health, and it could even extend your life. OSA has been linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, research also shows that effective care for sleep apnea will reduce these cardiovascular health risks.