Nearly 18 million Americans today are suspected to suffer from sleep apnea. This chronic sleep disorder not only robs you of the full night of rest you need to live life to the fullest, but it can even contribute to other serious health problems like high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. Many patients don’t realize that trained dentists can actually provide sleep apnea therapy, providing an alternative to the traditional, clunky CPAP machine. At EMA Dental, we’re able to deliver this type of treatment and help our patients finally feel ready for the day ahead! Contact us today in either East Longmeadow or Northampton, MA to schedule a first appointment.
There are multiple types of sleep apnea, but the most common version by far is the one that our team is often capable of treating: obstructive sleep apnea. Also known as OSA, this condition occurs when a patient’s airway becomes partially or fully blocked during sleep. This may happen because of excess tissue at the back of the throat or the patient’s tongue, which relax when someone is unconscious.
Once the airway is blocked, oxygen is not able to flow to the brain properly. Your brain will alert you to this emergency by awakening you so that you can readjust. Patients may only be technically conscious for a few seconds and not even remember this moment in the morning, but interruptions like this can happen dozens or even hundreds of times every night.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:
After you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA by your physician or a sleep specialist, we encourage you to visit one of our practice locations and explore the possibility of oral appliance therapy.
CPAP, the traditional treatment for sleep apnea, features a noisy machine, a facial/nasal mask, and loud noises throughout the night as it forces air down the throat. While effective, many patients simply go without CPAP treatment because it’s too uncomfortable. Alternatively, oral appliances are comfortable and removable devices that gently reposition your jaw and/or tongue during sleep. This will prevent the airway’s collapse and help you maintain a steady flow of air as you rest peacefully.