Do you go to bed only to wake up feeling unrested and drowsy? You may have sleep apnea, which is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. However, it can be easy to overlook this issue because its symptoms typically occur while you’re asleep. That’s why it is estimated that 80% of sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed. But what exactly is sleep apnea in Phillipsburg and how do you know if you have it? Keep reading to learn the answers!
What is Sleep Apnea?
There are 3 different types of sleep apnea, but the most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition occurs when your jaw and throat collapse during sleep, blocking your airway. The result is loss of sleep due to interrupted breathing—sometimes hundreds of times during the night. You may wake up feeling out of breath, but for the most part, you won’t know your airway was blocked because it occurred during your sleep.
While it is possible for anyone to have sleep apnea, you may have a higher risk of this condition if you:
- Have excess weight
- Have a wide neck circumference
- Are male
- Are an older adult
- Have a narrow airway
- Are a smoker
- Have nasal congestion
Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is often hard to detect on your own, but if you or your sleep partner are aware of the common warning signs, you can seek treatment and get back to a good night’s rest. These symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping for breath
- Feeling groggy or drowsy
- Lack of focus on daily tasks
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a dry mouth
The only way to know with certainty whether or not you have sleep apnea is to participate in a sleep test. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist who can refer you to a sleep testing center!
How Your Dentist Can Help
You may wonder what sleep apnea has to do with your dentist, however oral health experts are exactly who you need to achieve a better sleep. Your dentist can create custom-made oral appliances that help you enjoy the sleep you deserve. This is an alternative to the traditional CPAP machine, which forces air to your lungs using a nasal piece. It can be noisy, uncomfortable, and inconvenient, leading to many patients eventually giving up on treatment. Your dentist’s personalized devices position your jaw and/or tongue in a way that keeps your airway clear and unobstructed. This allows you to breathe easily throughout the night.
Are you ready to get back to counting sheep? Now that you know about sleep apnea, contact your dentist if you suspect that you’re affected by this condition.
Meet the Dentists
Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino and Dr. Nelida Garcia-DeMartino are a husband and wife team of dentists who offers a wide range of services for their patients. Their treatments extend beyond routine checkups and cleanings, including custom-made oral appliances for sleep apnea. If you have any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (908) 859-5260.
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