Sleep apnea is a serious condition, one which many people are not aware that they have. When you struggle with sleep apnea, your throat has a tendency to close off as you sleep, inhibiting your ability to breathe. Some people will wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, short of breath, while other people may only wake up partially to correct their breathing.
The result is that you may very well not be getting all the sleep you need, even if you are not aware of having woken up at all. In the short term, this means heavy snoring, drowsiness, and headaches in the morning. Over time, you can experience dangerous levels of sleep deprivation, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In some cases the appliance can be used instead of a CPAP.
What are My Treatment Options?
Your dentist can help you to manage the symptoms of sleep apnea. Your particular treatment will depend on the type of apnea and the severity of your case. There are devices you can insert into your mouth to keep your throat open in the mouth, while some people may benefit from a surgical solution.
In addition to your treatment, you can likely benefit from a number of lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms. An overweight individual may be advised to lose weight. A smoker would do well to quit smoking. If you usually sleep on your back, you might consider sleeping on your side.
Schedule an evaluation with the dentist to see if the sleep apnea appliance could be a therapeutic for you.