Approximately 18 million people in the U.S. suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder caused by the tongue and soft tissues falling to the back of the throat and obstructing the airway during sleep, thus leading to moments of ceased breathing.
Learn the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Those with sleep apnea often suffer from:
- excessive sleepiness during the day
- obnoxious snoring
- episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- waking up with dry mouth
- abrupt awakening followed by shortness of breath
- morning headaches
- mood changes or depression
CPAP – The Traditional Sleep Apnea Treatment
The typical treatment for sleep apnea calls for the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP). This treatment involves wearing a mask at night attached to a machine that delivers pressurized air to the nose and mouth. While this treatment is often considered the most effective, many find it to be uncomfortable and even intolerable to sleep with.
Our Newport Beach Sleep Apnea Dentist’s Solution
As an alternative to CPAP, those with sleep apnea can instead be treated with a custom sleep apnea mouth guard. These mouth guards resemble the protective dental sports gear and are simply placed in the mouth at night before sleeping. They work by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate slightly to maintain an open airway.
Sleep Apnea Frequently Asked Questions
What is Sleep Apnea and Why is it Dangerous?
If you have experienced the symptoms of sleep apnea, you are already aware of the potential dangers of the condition. Characterized by momentary lapses in breathing while asleep, it is disruptive to a good nights’ sleep and is a frightening and serious problem. Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience significantly less restful nights. However, if left untreated the condition can lead to serious long-term health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and even stroke.
Sleep apnea comes in two forms:
- Obstructive Apnea: The physical blockage of the throat’s airway, usually caused by soft tissue
- Central Apnea: Lapse in respiratory function due to failure of the brain to send correct signals.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Depending on the severity and cause of each case, doctors may apply different techniques to keep patients’ airways open while they sleep. In moderate to severe cases, a CPAP breathing machine may be used to ensure a steady flow of air to the throat and lungs overnight. For thousands of people who suffer from obtrusive apnea, a dental mouthpiece could help curb symptoms of the disorder and prevent the more damaging complications caused by the disruptions in normal breathing.
How Can a Mouthpiece Help?
Using a dental mouthpiece is a simple solution for mild cases of sleep apnea. The mouthpieces are fitted by dentists and are designed similarly to protective mouth guards worn by athletes. By pushing the lower jaw forward, the mouthpiece allows maximum airway opening while sleeping. Those suffering from mild sleep apnea will notice improved energy levels in the morning and a decrease in nighttime snoring.
If you suffer from sleep apnea and would like to prevent long-term health problems caused by the disorder, or even simply wish to reduce snoring, consult your doctor about using a mouthpiece and see if it can benefit you.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation with Dr. Ngo!
If you suffer from excessive snoring and daytime sleepiness, you may have a sleep apnea problem. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, call our office @ (949) 760-0363 to make an appointment for a sleep apnea consultation.