You’ve read all the online advice on how to get a good night’s sleep – don’t watch TV, work on the computer, or check your phone before bed. Eat supper at least three hours before heading to bed. Make sure your room is dark, quiet, and cool. Maybe you’re doing all of this, but you still feel tired during the day. Unfortunately, this problem might be caused by a medical condition known as sleep apnea. Fortunately, Dr. Natasha Patel can help treat your condition here in Orange Park, FL. At Kind Care Dentistry, our team will prescribe a special oral appliance to help you breathe so you can once again get a restful night of sleep. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
The most common form of this condition is called obstructive sleep apnea. When you’re asleep, your tongue and the soft tissue in your throat relax just like the rest of your body. In this relaxed state, this tissue may collapse and consequently obstruct your airway. As you breathe, air vibrates this tissue and your bed partner likely hears the telltale sign of sleep apnea—loud snoring. Everyone snores sometime, such as when you have a cold or allergies. But when snoring is caused by a blocked airway, the problem is more serious.
Besides snoring, sleep apnea may also cause:
Furthermore, sleep apnea can aggravate or may even lead to several systemic illnesses. Researchers have found a connection between sleep apnea and high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression and diabetes.
For years, the gold standard for treatment was a CPAP machine. Now, however, there is an option that is far quieter and more comfortable. We can prescribe a made-to-measure oral appliance that is worn nightly. Made of smooth plastic, the appliance gently shifts your lower jaw forward in order to prevent your tongue and the other soft tissue from obstructing your airway.
In addition to wearing an oral appliance, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help with the symptoms of sleep apnea. First, watch your weight. Extra weight, especially around your jaw and neck, can put pressure on your airway. Secondly, avoid alcohol or medications that relax the central nervous system. This may lead to central sleep apnea, which is neurologically based. Finally—and this almost doesn’t need mentioning—quit smoking. Kicking the habit makes breathing easier and gives your lungs and circulatory system a healthy boost.