Have you been told that you snore, to the point that you keep others awake or abruptly stop breathing? If so, you may have sleep apnea, a common disorder that affects approximately 22 million American adults. Chronic sleep apnea can have negative effects on not just your sleep, but your overall health and well-being. You may not immediately think of a dentist as your source for sleep apnea treatment, but Dr. Scott Sutton and Dr. Shawn Monahan are dentists who can help manage and treat your sleep apnea at their practice, Waterfront Dentistry in Scottsdale or Metro Refresh Dentistry in Phoenix. You can learn more in this post.
What is sleep apnea?
There are two main types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central occurs when the brain doesn't put out the proper breathing signals during sleep; the obstructive type is due to abnormal weakness of the muscles at the back of the throat. Both cause loud snoring due to the restriction of air passing through the trachea. Sleep apnea also causes a person to wake up many times during sleep; this is the body's way of restarting breathing. Most people don't know they wake up, but they often feel it the next morning in the form of being lethargic and unmotivated. This lack of energy, coupled with the constant interruption to your body's natural functions, can lead to poor productivity at work, lack of concentration while driving or performing other important tasks, and is thought to play a part in the development of heart disease or stroke.
How can a dentist treat my sleep apnea?
After you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you might not think about containing your Scottsdale dentist. However, Dr. Scott Sutton and Dr. Shawn Monahan help their patients manage sleep apnea through the use of a custom oral appliance, which is worn during sleep. These oral appliances are designed to reposition your jaw and tongue so the muscles in the back of your throat have more room, thus accommodating the airway for the sagging that occurs. Unlike CPAP machines, these guards are lightweight, comfortable, and easily portable.
If you have sleep apnea and want to learn more about your options for treatment, contact Waterfront Dentistry in Scottsdale or Metro Refresh Dentistry in Phoenix for an appointment today!