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Sleep Apnea & Oral Appliances: Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common but serious disorder that disrupts one’s breathing during sleep, leading to intermittent pauses in breath or shallow breaths while one sleeps. It doesn’t discriminate and is prevalent throughout all age groups. These interrupted breathing patterns can cause your brain to awaken you from slumber, ensuring normal respiration resumes—sometimes so subtly that you don’t even remember the alert signal going off.

There is no "one size fits all" treatment option for sleep apnea. Treatment depends on the individual's symptoms and personal preference.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

The symptoms associated with sleep apnea often include loud snoring, morning headaches, waking up with a very dry or sore throat, and feelings of exhaustion even after a whole night’s rest. Some people also report insomnia-like symptoms and frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

Risks Associated with Untreated Sleep Apnea 

If untreated for an extended period of time, sleep apnea tends to increase the risk of suffering from several health problems, like hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart failure, etc. It may likewise bring about mental health problems, including depression. The social implications are equally distressing, leading to difficulty concentrating, which often means poorer work/school performance. Increased tiredness could lead to risky behaviors such as driving drowsy.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea at Dupont Dental – Dr Christopher Banks

The diagnosis process involves multiple steps under our care here at Dupont Dental. We start with a thorough medical history consultation and physical examination, followed by appropriate tests when deemed necessary according to the patient’s needs. Our belief coincides with universal consensus—early detection is everything in preventing future complications related to this condition.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

There is no “one size fits all” treatment option for sleep apnea. Treatment depends on the individual’s symptoms, overall health, and personal preference. Treatments may include lifestyle changes (like losing weight or quitting smoking), breathing devices such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, surgery in severe cases, or oral appliances.

About Oral Appliances

Oral appliances are specially designed mouthpieces that subtly adjust the position of your jaw during sleep to keep your airways open while you rest peacefully. Such therapy could reduce episodes of broken breathing patterns caused by this ailment. Mouthpieces offer a reliable solution for those who cannot cope with CPAP machines due to discomfort. Despite its effectiveness, patients can initially experience dry mouth and mild discomfort after long-term use, which could be resolved through follow-up visits.  

If you’re struggling night after night with disrupted slumber owing to complicated health conditions like apnea, know there is help. You don’t need to suffer anymore. Contact us at (202) 946-4720 today to schedule an appointment and see if we could help with your sleep apnea.