Sleep Apnea Treatment
Stop Letting Sleep Apnea Keep Everyone Awake
Sleep apnea is very interesting. Over the years, I actually wear a snore guard, or I still probably wouldn’t be married. There’s different types of sleep apnea: you have mild, moderate, and severe. As we mature, our muscles get relaxed, we’re not quite as toned. When I lie on my back, my airway actually closes, and your tongue most of the time falls into that area.
Our 3D machine will actually be able to take pictures of your throat, and we can see how large or small your airway opening is. There’s different types of as I said mild, moderate, or severe. We can treat mild and moderate sleep apnea. Most people that grind their teeth actually have sleep apnea also. They’re tossing and turning. Before I wore a snore guard for my sleep apnea, I could not sleep on my back. I went from side to side and basically interrupted sleep, and part of the interruption was my wife elbowing me all the time.
Basically you can have it where they call it a “pull forward” appliance, where it pulls your jar forward. I used that for 3 or 4 years, but it made my jaw sore. I actually use one now that’s like a suction cup that suctions on my tongue and just pulls it forward, and my wife calls it “my binky.” I do that, and actually it works perfect, and it doesn’t hurt my jaw muscles or anything. That’s how we treat sleep apnea, but most people that grind their teeth actually do sleep apnea, so if you make a snore guard, you’ll get rid of their grinding a lot.
When you think about snoring, you probably have someone in your family that you immediately think about. Maybe it’s your uncle, your dad, or even your wife or husband. Maybe it’s even you. But hey, a little snoring isn’t too bad, right? You’re right — if it’s just some snoring. The problem is that bad snoring can be a sign of a serious condition called sleep apnea. Technically, this isn’t about teeth. So why can a dentist help? Because Dr. Airey is trained in more than just teeth and gums. We can help if your jaw joint is painful, and we can help with sleep apnea treatment as well.
What Is The Difference Between Sleep Apnea And Regular Snoring?
Everybody makes a little noise when they sleep. We whistle a bit when we breathe, for example. And if you had a few drinks earlier in the evening before you went to bed, you probably didn’t sleep as well, so you could have snored a bit that night. If you snore loudly almost every time you sleep, you might have sleep apnea.
What causes sleep apnea? First, it’s important to know that you relax when you sleep. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to fall asleep.) But not every muscles relaxes. Your heart keeps beating, for example. There are muscles around your windpipe that are supposed to stay strong so they keep your windpipe the normal shape no matter how you sit or lie down. But in people who suffer from sleep apnea, those muscles relax too much. Your windpipe starts to actually close. Forcing air through that smaller space is what causes such bad snoring.
We All Snore. How Bad Could Sleep Apnea Be?
There are a couple of problems that come along with your windpipe closing up. The most obvious one is that your body starts to panic, thinking you’re being suffocated because that windpipe is now mostly or even completely closed off. You’re suddenly awake, but then those muscles stop relaxing and your windpipe opens up again. So you fall back to sleep … only to wake up in a panic again. With sleep apnea, some people can do that up to 240 times in eight hours of sleep.
That means you are not getting the rest you need. If you have sleep apnea, you’ll often find it harder to concentrate the next day, leading to accidents and mistakes. You’re probably going to be irritable and moody, too, just as if you’d only gotten a few hours of sleep last night. All of this can make depression worse and contribute to you gaining weight.
Plus, research links sleep apnea to some serious problems, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, fibromyalgia, and more.
How Can A Dentist Help With Sleep Apnea?
At our Boone, NC dental office, Dr. Airey can create a snore guard to help fight sleep apnea. You wear this over your teeth while you sleep, which moves your jaw just enough to help keep your windpipe open despite those muscles relaxing too much. It will be made to fit comfortably over your teeth, and you should finally be able to sleep normally again.
If you’re the one who’s snoring, our sleep apnea treatment can help you get a good night’s rest — and that helps your loved ones get the sleep they need, too. To learn more about our sleep apnea treatment, or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call today at 828-355-5673 or use our online form.
- Anita K.VIEW MORE PATIENT TESTIMONIALS