A good night’s sleep is important to your overall health.
It’s hard to get healthy sleep when you stop breathing every time to drift off to sleep, however. For someone with sleep apnea, those breathing stoppages can happen dozens and even hundreds of times every night.
While an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from this sleep disorder, only about half are aware that they have it, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
Today, we want to discuss the common symptoms of sleep apnea and how our doctors at Nashua Family Dentistry can help you treat it.
Please call 603-546-7460 today if you suspect you or someone you love may be struggling with this sleep disorder. Our team in Nashua, NH wants to help.
Recognizing the Signs
Sleep apnea can affect you in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Loud, constant snoring
- Waking up feeling like you are gasping for air
- Waking up often with a headache or dry mouth
- Feeling irritable or easily annoyed
- Frequent daytime sleepiness
If you have sleep apnea, your spouse, partner, kids, or roommate may be the first person who notices something is wrong. Your repeated breathing stoppages occur as part of a recurring cycle.
As you fall asleep, your airway becomes restricted as your muscles relax. This allows soft tissues to collapse into or cover your airway. This magnifies the sound of your snoring … until your airway closes to a point when you can no longer breath. (Your spouse or roommate may notice this because your snoring has kept them awake until this point.)
Your body will wake you up so you can breathe again. Many times this is so brief that you have no memory of it in the morning.
For people with severe sleep apnea, this can happen 30 times or more every hour that they are asleep.
As a result of these regular interruptions, you may never get deep sleep. This can leave you feeling sleep deprived, which can affect your focus at work, at home, and behind the wheel.
The key to treating sleep apnea is finding something that will help you keep breathing.
Many people will try using a CPAP machine. These can be very effective when used correctly. The problem is that studies have shown that as many as half of all CPAP user don’t use them like they should. Many give up on them entirely because they are bothered by the mask, can’t sleep because of the sound of the machine, or just can’t tolerate the feeling of air being pushed into their airway.
We have a different sleep apnea treatment that many patients find easier to use. We can create an oral appliance that will hold your jaw slightly forward. This can keep your airway open, which allows you to continue breathing so you can get the deep sleep you need.
Several patients have told us they started dreaming again after they got one of our appliances — a sure sign they are reaching the deep stages of sleep.
Get A Good Night’s Rest
Don’t spend another day feeling like you could fall asleep at any moment. Help your spouse sleep better too by doing something about your snoring, too.
The professionals at Nashua Family Dentistry can examine your mouth, discuss your symptoms, and help set up a take-home sleep study if needed. By working with a sleep physician, we can determine if you have sleep apnea and what kind of treatment would work best for you.