Sleep is supposed to restore your body. When you wake up, you should feel rested and refreshed. However, for many Americans, this is not the case. If you constantly wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed, even though it was at a decent hour, your cognitive functions are affected. You may find it difficult to make decisions, or even think clearly. You may experience excessive daytime sleepiness and find yourself falling asleep during regular tasks, even while driving. Poor sleep can even lead to health problems, like high blood pressure and other heart-related issues. These issues are caused by a common issue known as sleep apnea. National Dental East Meadow can help with oral appliance therapy.
What is Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your sleep. As you sleep, you stop breathing for several seconds. In some cases, your breathing may stop for as long as 90 seconds! These events are referred to as apneic events, and depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you can experience up to 30 or more episodes per sleeping hour. Every time you stop breathing, you wake up, whether you are aware of it or not. These episodes disrupt your normal sleep cycle, which is what causes you to feel exhausted in the morning, despite going to bed at a decent hour.
Sleep apnea may be caused by blockages in the airway (excess tissue or your tongue), a failure of communication between your brain and your breathing muscles, or a combination of the two. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Getting Your DiagnosisGetting a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea requires the expertise of a trained sleep professional. These professionals not only diagnose your sleep apnea, but they can also help manage your treatment. At National Dental, we work with a broad network of sleep doctors who can help you with your specific sleep issues.
How Oral Appliance Therapy Can HelpTypically, sleep apnea is treated with a CPAP machine. However, many patients find this machine difficult to sleep with, or just don’t want to use it. For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, a custom fit oral appliance may just be the solution you need.
An oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard, in that it fits over your upper teeth. It is designed to hold your jaw in proper alignment and keep it from slipping backward. This helps to keep your tongue, and any excess tissue near your throat, from sliding backward and blocking your airway. Without these blockages, you can get a proper night’s sleep.
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The Importance of a Custom Fit ApplianceThere are oral devices that you can buy at a pharmacy. However, these oral devices can make your specific problem worse, rather than better. A custom fit oral appliance is your best option. We create your oral appliance from molds of your mouth, ensuring proper fit. There is no need to bite down to hold it in place. Getting the sleep you need can greatly improve your overall health, and allow you to wake up rested and refreshed.
If you find yourself waking up groggy every morning and are having trouble staying awake throughout the day, you may have sleep apnea. While diagnosis is needed by a trained sleep professional, we can help with oral appliance therapy. Contact National Dental's Sleep Department at (516) 208-4276 to learn more!