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Sleep Apnea Treatment – Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The quality of our sleep impacts both our physical and mental health. Chronic sleeping issues, like sleep apnea, diminish an individual’s quality of life and wellness. Thankfully, patients can find help for poor sleep at Atlanta Smiles.  

Are you struggling to get a peaceful night’s sleep? If so, you may suffer from sleep apnea. If you experience excessive tiredness, decreased attentiveness, low energy, or cessation of breath during sleep, don’t wait to seek help.

Atlanta Smiles cares about our patient’s overall wellness. We want to help you live your best life. That starts with great sleep!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a health condition where individuals experience abnormal breathing during sleep, including repetitive and prolonged pauses. While sleep apnea has become more common, it is not normal. Not only do patients experience a lower quality of sleep, but the decreased oxygen levels may also lead to serious health issues. Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, including children. Seek help and healing for your sleep disorder at Atlanta Smiles. We offer top-quality and effective care for children and adults suffering from sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a health condition where individuals experience abnormal breathing during sleep, including repetitive and prolonged pauses. While sleep apnea has become more common, it is not normal. Not only do patients experience a lower quality of sleep, but the decreased oxygen levels may also lead to serious health issues. Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, including children. Seek help and healing for your sleep disorder at Atlanta Smiles. We offer top-quality and effective care for children and adults suffering from sleep apnea.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

People often don’t realize they have sleep apnea. In fact, it’s typical for another person in the household to notice the symptoms of sleep apnea first.
  • Snoring
  • Interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Poor quality of sleep or restlessness while sleeping
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Sore throat
  • Heartburn
  • Morning headaches
  • Gasping for air
  • Increased daytime fatigue
  • Reduced cognitive function

These symptoms are usually most pronounced in the morning or after waking. However, even after a full night’s sleep, patients feel tired or unable to concentrate.

What are the Causes of Sleep Apnea?

The two types of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. As the name implies, obstructive sleep apnea occurs because of a blockage of the airway. Specifically, the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep.

Contributing factors to obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity
  • Use of alcohol and drugs
  • Smoking
  • A narrow airway
  • Thicker neck circumference
  • Family history

 

Central sleep apnea appears in patients with central nervous system dysfunction. For example, patients who have experienced a stroke or heart failure often develop sleep apnea. In addition, patients with neuromuscular diseases have a higher occurrence of sleep apnea.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Research shows that up to 10 million Americans have undiagnosed sleep apnea. The symptoms of sleep apnea mirror symptoms for some other conditions. Individuals should not try and diagnose sleep apnea on their own. Patients need a proper diagnosis from a trained medical professional. You can work with a sleep specialist to achieve the best diagnosis for sleep apnea. Typically, patients participate in a sleep study to track brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, breathing patterns and cessations, and snoring. Patients wear a device while they sleep to monitor and record the data. Then, the specialist evaluates the data to determine whether you have sleep apnea and, if so, to what extent. Once diagnosed, your doctor helps you find the right treatment option.

What Are the Treatments for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea treatments vary to match the severity of the condition and your comfort. However, we are happy to work with you to find the best solution.

CPAP
The most widely used treatment option for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. In addition, patients wear a mask while they sleep that covers their nose and sometimes mouth depending on the type of machine used.

The CPAP machine delivers a continual flow of pressurized air into the throat and keeps the airway passage open. This regulates breathing to prevent choking, snoring, and cessations during the night.

If you’re uncomfortable using this machine or have concerns about using it regularly, our dentists can recommend an oral alternative based on your specific symptoms and medical history.

Oral Appliances
Some patients do not feel comfortable sleeping while wearing the CPAP mask. In these cases, an oral appliance works to keep the airway open. We work with patients to find the best dental device to fit their comfort.

Mandibular appliances work by shifting the jaw forward, which can relieve snoring and other symptoms of mild cases of sleep apnea.

Our dental team designs customized appliances for patients with sleep apnea. We work with you to find the correct method to relieve your symptoms and help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

What are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?

On top of the symptoms listed above, people with sleep apnea are also more likely to have accidents in their vehicles or workplaces. In addition, patients with sleep apnea have a greater risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and other severe health conditions.

Failing to treat your sleep apnea could have serious consequences, like the increased risk of a heart attack during your regular sleeping hours. Be mindful of how your lifestyle choices and the risk factors associated with this condition, like diabetes, obesity, and smoking, may impact your health.

Why Choose Atlanta Smiles for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

Atlanta Smiles serves patients in Atlanta and surrounding communities with trusted care backed by over 20 years of experience. As dental experts, we offer more than tooth care. We want to help you achieve overall wellness. Quality sleep is key to health and wellness. We craft oral appliances to help patients find a workable solution to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you think you may be impacted by sleep apnea, contact us today to discuss the right solution for you.

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