You always hear about the importance of a good night’s sleep. However, do you know why it is important? Not only does a full night’s sleep provide your body with rest and the time it needs to repair, but it is also essential for your mental, physical and emotional well-beings. Feeling tired every single day can greatly impact your ability to perform normal tasks. If you sleep poorly night after night, even after going to bed at a decent hour, you may be living with sleep apnea. National Dental Melville can help with oral appliance therapy.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects the quality of your sleep. Normally, when you get a good night’s sleep, your body will go through several sleep cycles. These cycles are crucial for getting your proper body rest. The disruption of these sleep cycles disrupts your sleep. Too many disruptions and you will wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed. With sleep apnea, your sleep is disrupted because you stop breathing (an apneic event). In some cases, you may stop breathing for as long as 90 seconds.

Sleep apnea ranges in severity. With mild sleep apnea, you may experience anywhere from 5 to 14 apneic events per sleeping hour. With severe sleep apnea, you may experience over 30 apneic events per sleeping hour. It’s no wonder you wake up so tired. There are three different types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs because your airway is blocked. This can be caused by your tongue or excess oral tissue.
  • Central sleep apnea. This sleep apnea occurs when your brain stops communicating with the muscles that control your breathing.
  • Complex (mixed) sleep apnea. This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apneas.

What Symptoms Should I Watch For?

There are several symptoms that can point to sleep apnea:

  • You may be told that you snore.
  • Feeling excessively tired during the day, and having trouble staying awake.
  • You have difficulty focusing on the task at hand.
  • You might feel irritable or have trouble regulating your emotions.
  • High blood pressure.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea needs to be diagnosed by a professional. At National Dental, we work with a vast network of highly trained sleep experts who can diagnose your sleep apnea with a sleep study. Once you have been diagnosed, they can help you to manage your treatment.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Typically, sleep apnea is treated with a C-PAP machine. A small mask is worn over your nose while you sleep. For some patients, the C-PAP does not work, and there are other patients who just don’t want to use it. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be an option.

Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a special, custom fit oral device that is worn while you sleep. It is similar to a sports mouth guard. We create your mouth guard using 3-dimensional impressions of your mouth. When you wear the oral appliance, it holds your jaw in proper alignment. This prevents your tongue, and other oral tissues, from slipping back into your airway. With a clear airway, you can breathe all night properly, and finally get the rest you need.

You don’t have to live your life constantly exhausted. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277 to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you.