Do you often wake up feeling dizzy and tired? Do you have mouth dryness during the night? Then you may have sleep apnea. It is a common sleep disorder that often goes undiagnosed and can severely affect your general health and wellbeing. The association between your oral health and sleep apnea is significant. At Robichaux Family Dentistry in Los Angeles, we have successfully helped many patients manage their sleep apnea and protect their oral structures.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when your airways get compressed or partially close during sleep. This causes interruptions in your normal breathing, making you wake up often with a loud, grunting noise. You may have little memory of these episodes, but the interruptions can affect your sleep quality.
The most standard type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In this condition, your tongue collapses against your soft palate as your muscles relax during sleep, causing compression in your airways. This disorder not only causes exhaustion but also makes you snore loudly. Snoring is the first noticeable symptom of sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause fatigue, strokes, hypertension, depression, diabetes, headaches, cardiac problems, and other oral health problems.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can adversely impact your life when left untreated. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment options available to you, and Dr. Jacob Robichaux can help you treat and manage the disorder. The first step in sleep apnea treatment is making lifestyle changes. If your sleep apnea is caused by smoking or obesity, you should work on these harmful factors. By quitting smoking, losing weight, and living a healthier lifestyle, you can manage your sleep apnea. Other treatment options include:
- Mandibular Advancement Splint
Mild cases of sleep apnea can be addressed with a custom-fabricated mouth splint. The device closely resembles a mouthguard and is worn during sleep. Mouth splints work by keeping your jaw in an optimal position to decrease the chances of narrowing airways. The device can safeguard your oral health and give you a peaceful night’s sleep.
More severe cases of sleep apnea can be addressed with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The machine is secured to a mask that must be worn over your mouth before going to sleep. It improves the air pressure in your throat and keeps your jaw in the desired position. This enables your airways to remain open to receive a continuous and steady oxygen flow.
Are you suffering from sleep apnea? Have you noticed symptoms in your partner? To learn more about our sleep apnea treatments, visit our office, Robichaux Family Dentistry, at 235 Corporate Dr, Houma, LA 70360. You can also reach us at (985) 580-3200.