Sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes your breathing to stop and start throughout the night.
A good night's sleep can maintain your mental health and physical health, so it's important to treat sleep apnea immediately.
Our dentists at Signature Dental in Sheboygan, WI, can create a custom nightguard to alleviate your sleep apnea.
The Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of the throat collapse during sleep, blocking the upper airway and repeatedly interrupting sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
Central sleep apnea is a disorder in which the brain fails to properly regulate breathing during sleep. Once the oxygen levels in your blood drop, your brain sends a signal to wake you up.
CSA is a neurological condition and requires the attention of a specialist.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea can cause quality of life issues, put a strain on relationships, and lead to medical problems, so it's important to recognize the symptoms.
You may have obstructive sleep apnea if you:
- Wake up fatigued
- Snore throughout the night
- Gasp for air during sleep
- Frequently wake up throughout the night
- Have morning headaches
- Wake with a dry mouth
- Have difficulty paying attention during the day
If you or a partner notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Our dentists can sometimes diagnose you with obstructive sleep apnea based on your symptoms, but it may be necessary to visit a sleep medicine doctor so they can conduct a sleep study.
During the sleep study, your activity will be recorded throughout the night. Once your diagnosis has been confirmed, you can return to our Sheboygan, Wisconsin, office where we can provide you with personalized care.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Lifestyle changes like losing weight and minimizing alcohol can often improve sleep apnea, but these changes may not be enough. Additionally, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP machine) can be loud, bulky, and difficult to transport.
Once a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea, their dentist can create a custom mouthguard. This custom-fitted appliance keeps the upper airway open during sleep by positioning the jaw slightly forward. Unobstructed breathing can help you feel more rested and prevent serious medical issues related to obstructive sleep apnea.
Our prescription oral appliances are comfortable to wear, convenient to use, easy to clean, and simple to transport.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
Some factors that increase your chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight
- Sinus problems
- Heavy drinking
- Certain medications
During your visit to our Sheboygan office, one of our dentists will explain steps that can be taken to reduce these risk factors.