Do you wake up tired, listless and sleepy even after a seemingly uninterrupted night’s sleep? If so, you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a common condition where the sleeper’s breathing pauses while sleeping. The shallow breathing and pauses can last from several seconds to minutes. This causes light sleep, moving the sleeper out of deep, restorative sleep. People with sleep apnea are at higher risk for diabetes and obesity, depression, stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.
Mild sleep apnea can be treated by lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, sleeping on one’s side instead of back, and nasal sprays or allergy medications designed to open the nasal passages.
Another effective treatment for sleep apnea is wearing oral appliances, or mouthpieces during the night. This custom-fit mouthpiece is made by your dentist or orthodontist. At Liang Orthodontics, we design this device to adjust your lower jaw and tongue while you sleep to help you keep your airways open.
The sleep apnea treatment mouth guard devices are cleared by the FDA, and while they are recommended for mild and moderate sleep apnea, they can also be used for patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
They are adjustable and are recommended for patients 18 and above.
Surgery is recommended for some patients with severe sleep apnea to widen breathing passages. Surgery may involve shrinking, stiffening or removing extra tissue in the mouth or throat. Resetting the lower jaw is also a possible surgical treatment.
Sleep apnea is a highly treatable condition that can seriously affect your quality of life. If your doctor has determined that you have sleep apnea, you may be a candidate for an oral appliance to help you restore your sleep and your health again. We invite you to contact one of our offices near you and let us help you get a good night’s sleep again!