Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that can lead to a heightened risk of health complications like heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. OSA is marked mostly with snoring. It can sound like simple snoring except that sleep apnea also includes frequent gasps for air and pauses for breathing. To determine that you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may need to talk to your doctor to confirm the diagnosis with a sleep study. Those diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea may find that a custom-designed mouth guard is the best option for treatment.
If you sleep alone and your snoring bothers no one else, you may be wondering why you would bother treating sleep apnea. OSA creates more harm than just loud snoring that could keep others awake. You may not remember waking up, but it can keep you awake and disrupt your sleep cycle. Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissues of your mouth collapse onto your airway to cause a blockage. This loss of air causes you to lose oxygen to your bloodstream. Your body will try to wake up to clear the blockage and prevent suffocation in your sleep. The lack of oxygen in your bloodstream night after night may lead to high blood pressure, which puts you at risk of other serious health complications. A consistently disrupted sleep cycle can make you gain weight, keep you drowsy, and/or moody.
Your dentist can create a customized oral appliance shaped like a mouth guard for you to wear while you sleep. The bottom part of the mouth guard will gently pull the bottom ridge of your jaw forward, which will bring your tongue forward and open your throat up. Both of these actions will prevent the airway blockages that are caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Your dentist can create the appliance to fit the exact needs of your mouth, which will make it much more comfortable to wear while you sleep.
Ask Dr. Carmona about treatment options for sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Carmona at Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.