June 11, 2019
Do you find yourself yawning all day despite getting more than eight hours of sleep? Do you wake up with a sore throat or a headache more often than not? Have you been experiencing mood swings or depression lately? These are all symptoms of sleep apnea, a disease where you stop breathing while sleeping. It’s important to treat sleep apnea as soon as possible. Let’s look at some options for sleep apnea therapy in Charlottesville.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by a temporary lack of breathing during sleep. It is typically caused by tissues in the mouth and throat collapsing and blocking the airway, particularly when you sleep on your back. It causes you to wake up several times during the night due to not receiving enough oxygen. This can cause you to be persistently drowsy during the day, and give you sore throats, headaches, and even depression.
Does Sleep Apnea Ever Go Away?
For the most part, sleep apnea is a condition that does not go away. There are some lifestyle changes you can make, such as:
- Losing weight: Having a large neck can obstruct breathing.
- Treating allergies: Allergies can cause the throat to close up, restricting airflow.
- Avoiding alcohol: Alcohol and other depressants can relax the throat muscles, making them more likely to collapse at night.
How Can Sleep Apnea Therapy Help?
There are a few different ways that your dentist can help treat your sleep apnea, such as:
- Oral appliance therapy: Your dentist can craft a custom-made oral appliance to gradually shift the lower jaw forward so you can breathe more easily.
- CPAP therapy: A CPAP machine gently forces air into your airway at night, essentially doing your breathing for you. This form of treatment is best for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea.
- Corrective surgery: Surgery may be needed if other forms of therapy don’t work. Nasal surgery, corrective jaw surgery, and surgery to remove the excess tissue of the soft palate may be needed to create enough room in the airway to properly breathe during sleep.
- Oral myofunctional therapy: This is a special type of therapy that trains your tongue to have a proper resting position, so it doesn’t block your airway at night.
Sleep apnea may be a chronic condition, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated. If you think you might have or be at risk for sleep apnea, contact your dentist today.
About the Practice
At Blue Ridge Dental, our team will do whatever we can to accommodate your needs. We offer extensive sleep apnea therapy options to help you achieve a higher quality of sleep. To learn more, contact us here or call (434)-823-2385.
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