Sleep Apnea

If you’re aren’t getting a restful night’s sleep, or your loved ones are being kept awake by your snoring, sleep apnea could be the cause. In fact, studies indicate that as many as 1 in 4 Americans are at high risk for sleep apnea.

Rest Easy Again with Sleep Apnea Treatment in Duluth, GA

The most common form of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by repeated lapses in breathing throughout the night, caused when the tongue, other soft tissues of the mouth and throat, and lower jaw relaxes in such a way that results in your airway becoming partially blocked as you sleep. This prevents air from reaching the lungs and often causes sleep apnea sufferers to partially awaken – sometimes as many as hundreds of times a night! Another one of sleep apnea’s symptoms is excessive snoring.
 
Other symptoms of sleep apnea to also watch for are:
 
  • Sore or dry throat in the mornings
  • Lack of energy
  • Severe daytime sleepiness
  • Frequent headache in the morning and throughout the day
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating

 

In addition to leaving you drowsy and unrested even after a full night’s sleep, sleep apnea can lead to larger-scale health problems, such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and depression.

The first step in treating sleep apnea is getting a diagnosis, which must come from a physician. If you have symptoms or signs of sleep apnea, you should consider getting evaluated by a sleep disorder specialist. Most often your doctor will schedule an overnight appointment at a sleep center.

man with snoring issues

So what does sleep apnea have to do with your dentist?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which involves a machine that pumps a constant flow of air into your airways while you wear a mask. However, dentistry has come up with another simpler, far smaller, and more convenient solution that many patients find more comfortable. 

We can treat sleep apnea with an FDA-approved custom oral appliance, that resembles sports mouthguards, that gently shifts the jaw forward and prevents the muscles of the tongue & upper throat from collapsing into your airway. Rather than being strapped into a bulky, noisy machine, the patient can simply wear a custom-fitted dental appliance to keep their airway open.

There are numerous types of oral appliances that help treat sleep apnea, which is where our dentists’ expertise comes in. Factors such as the size and shape of your jaw and tongue, and whether you grind your teeth or have TMJ will help Dr. George or Dr. Cohen to determine which one will work best for you.

Regardless of which type is used, it will fit perfectly and be comfortable to wear as it’s custom-made for you. 

Ready for a good night’s sleep?

If you are a heavy snorer or suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may find relief with a simple customized oral device offered at Sugarloaf Smiles. Our Duluth, GA dentists can relieve your sleep apnea symptoms and get you – and your partner-  resting comfortably again.