Sleep Apnea & Snoring Treatment in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
Millions of Americans suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). With treatment from your Post Office Square dentist, you may experience better sleep, less snoring, and improved health.
An Overview of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which your airway is obstructed while you sleep. In some cases, the airway can even partially collapse during sleep, resulting in interruptions in airflow and breathing.
Interruptions in airflow can result in snoring, gasping for breath, or periods of total breathing cessation.
The causes of the obstruction can include:
- Excess weight
- Thicker neck circumference
- Narrow airway
Risk factors for sleep apnea are:
- Being male
- Being older
Certain medical conditions (high blood
pressure, type 2 diabetes, congestive
heart failure, and asthma, to name a few)
- Nasal congestion
- Alcohol use
- Use of sedative medications
- Family history
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you have any of the symptoms below, talk to your Post Office Square dentist or physician immediately.
- Tossing and turning
- Wake up frequently
- Regular snoring
- Night sweats
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Difficulty concentrating
Is Snoring a Definite Sign of Sleep Apnea?
Not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea. However, nearly everyone who has OSA snores or makes some other sound while they sleep.
What causes snoring? Typically, it has to do with the anatomy of your mouth and airway. If you have a low palate with thick tissue or are carrying extra weight around your neck, your throat may narrow as your muscles relax during sleep.
Additional factors include:
- Elongated or swollen uvula
- A cold
- Sinus issues
- Alcohol consumption
- Sleep deprivation
- Sleep position
Why It Is Important to Treat Sleep Apnea
It is important for your overall health that you get a good night's sleep. The more sleep you lose, the more difficult it is to function.
But sleep apnea does not just impact your sleep – it can take a serious toll on your health. Patients with sleep apnea are at higher risk for:
Daytime fatigue (which can impact work
performance and your ability to complete
tasks safely, such as driving)
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Poor liver function
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Surgical complications
- Complications with medications
How Your Post Office Square Dentist Can Help Treat Your Sleep Apnea
The most common OSA treatment is a CPAP machine, which is a mask that is worn over your nose and forces air into your airway. It helps ensure that air is getting into your lungs, bloodstream, and brain.
However, there are other alternatives, some from your Post Office Square dentist. Oral appliances are an ideal option for patients that do not tolerate CPAP machines.
An oral device is worn over your teeth at night. It pushes your lower jaw forward and keeps it in that position as you sleep. Normally, as your muscles relax, your jaw slides back toward your throat. When this happens, your airway narrows. If you have a lot of tissue in the back of your throat or have other obstructive risk factors, you can experience interrupted breathing during the night.
Pulling your jaw forward helps keep the airway open.
Your dentist may also recommend a simple surgical procedure to remove some of the excessive tissue of the soft palate, thereby helping to keep your airway open even when you are relaxed.
We Will Work with Your Doctor to Find the Best Solution
To receive a positive OSA diagnosis, it is important that you visit your general practitioner. They can refer you for a sleep study, where sleep specialists will evaluate your sleep and see what is contributing to your snoring and sleep disturbances.
If you receive an OSA diagnosis, we can work with your physician to create the best treatment plan possible. Your plan may include a single treatment or multiple options, such as a minor surgical procedure and the use of a dental appliance.
When your dentist and physician work together, you can be sure you will receive exceptional care.