Snoring and sleep apnea are two of the most common sleep-related breathing disorders. You might not think of visiting the dentist for treatment if you suffer from snoring and sleep apnea. The position of the jaws and related structures influences the development of sleep apnea, making the dentist a key professional in the diagnosis and treatment for select cases.
The Bethesda Dental Implant Center offers treatment for patients in Washington DC who snore or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea using custom made removable oral appliances. Our dentists, Dr. Roy Eskow and Dr. Adam Eskow will use these special dental devices to help their patients find relief from snoring and sleep apnea. They fit comfortably in the mouth and are worn while you sleep to keep the airway open and prevent snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.
Snoring by itself is generally not a health problem; however it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients who suffer with OSA repeatedly stop breathing while they sleep.
There is no single cause for snoring or sleep apnea. Often times snoring is made worse by drinking, smoking or using sedatives. Patients who are overweight are also more likely to snore or suffer from sleep apnea. The prevalence of sleep apnea also increases with age.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing a sleep-related breathing disorder such as OSA typically involves the dentist as well as the patient’s physician and/or other specialists. The medical team may use diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. A sleep study may also be recommended to evaluate the quality of sleep.
When you visit our Washington DC dentist office, we will review your medical history and discuss some of the signs that could indicate a sleep breathing disorder. Common signs include:
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Treatment of sleep apnea is personalized to the symptoms and needs of the individual. There are many lifestyle changes a person can make to alleviate the symptoms of snoring or sleep apnea such as weight loss, quit smoking and eliminating the use of alcohol and sedatives before bed.
An oral appliance is an effective treatment and is more likely to be used by patients. Washington DC dentist, Dr. Eskow, can fabricate a custom oral appliance that is small, discreet and comfortable to wear.
An oral appliance is a small, plastic device similar to a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. There are many types of oral appliances, Dr. Eskow will choose the one most appropriate for your condition. The oral appliance will position the jaws and mouth correctly to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep and promoting adequate air intake.