Ignoring sleep apnea symptoms can have a devastating effect on your health. Luckily, your dentist can help you keep your airway open and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases and conditions. Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Dr. Adam Schneider and Dr. Katie Staub not only care for your teeth and mouth but also offer sleep apnea treatment.
Do I have sleep apnea?
You may have sleep apnea if you have one or more of these signs and symptoms:
- Loud Snoring: Loud snoring doesn't automatically mean you have sleep apnea, but it is a common sign. Snoring may occur if your airway becomes blocked or narrows while you sleep.
- Breathing Pauses: Sleep apnea stops your breathing for seconds at a time many times throughout the night. Although you may not be aware that you stop breathing, your partner, spouse or family member might notice the problem.
- Sudden Waking: Do you jerk awake suddenly during the night or wake up gasping for breath? Both of these actions force you to begin breathing again.
- Daytime Fatigue: Sleep apnea affects sleep quality and duration and may make you feel exhausted during the day. It may also affect your memory and your ability to concentrate.
- Depression and Irritability: Lack of sleep can lead to feelings of depression, irritability and moodiness.
How can my Gaithersburg dentist help?
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may have tried a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The machine keeps your airway open by sending a constant stream of air into your throat. Although CPAP machines offer an effective way to manage sleep apnea symptoms, they're not the right choice for everyone. If you can't find a comfortable CPAP mask, or the sound keeps you or your partner awake, you may want to pay a visit to your dentist's office.
He or she can fit you with an oral appliance that you'll wear while you sleep. The device holds your jaw forward, which keeps your airway open and prevents your tongue from blocking your throat. The low-tech appliance is comfortable, portable and affordable.
Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea but aren't sure if a CPAP machine is right for you? You may benefit from an oral appliance. Call Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Drs. Adam Schneider and Katie Staub at (301) 948-3111 to schedule your appointment.