Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is upon us, and Imagine Advanced Dental Arts would like to take the opportunity to shed some light on the prevalence of and treatment options for this condition.
To begin, we want to point out that sleep apnea may be a bit more common than you think. In fact, our dentists treat an increasing number of obstructive sleep apnea patients each month, estimating that approximately one in every fifteen individuals suffers from the potentially debilitating condition. This brings the total count of men and women experiencing obstructive sleep apnea to roughly 18 million in America alone, which is a statistic backed by the National Sleep Foundation and many other leading experts.
Some of the most common symptoms that point to sleep apnea include:
- Disruptive, chronic snoring
- Breathing pauses while asleep
- Shortness of breath upon awaking
- Gasping for air and/or snorting in one’s sleep
- Persistent fatigue despite enough hours of sleep
Though these indications may seem relatively harmless at first, if left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to more serious issues and concerns, such as impaired memory and/or cognitive function; diminished motor control; anxiety and depression; high blood pressure; and even an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and additional life-threatening complications.
Thankfully, there can be an easy and relatively convenient solution to treating sleep apnea, and it’s available right here at our office. Upon diagnosis and referral by a licensed physician, Dr. David I. Schor or Dr. Vivien Mesina – our specially trained sleep dentists – can design a customized oral appliance that fits comfortably in your mouth as you sleep. Similar to a night guard in look and feel, this orthotic device helps to prevent soft tissues from expanding and obstructing the airway throughout the night, ultimately reducing (or even eliminating) snoring and other symptoms for an improved night’s sleep. In addition, our dentists can also provide recommendations for altering daily habits that may be contributing to sleep disruption.
Sleep apnea is a condition you don’t have to lose more sleep over. If you believe you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, we encourage you to not put off another good night’s sleep and schedule an appointment at Imagine Advanced Dental Arts today.