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Sleep Apnea — What are the Symptoms?

Are you often woken in the middle of the night by a choking sensation? Do you experience daytime drowsiness when at work? You may be experiencing sleep apnea. This is a condition that hinders your ability to sleep and is linked to heart disease, memory problems, and other health issues. That’s why it’s important to understand what sleep apnea is, what the symptoms include, and how you can combat the condition with effective treatments.

Common Symptoms

Sleep apnea disorders impede airflow during sleep, making it potentially dangerous if not treated. To determine if you have the condition, there are a number of common symptoms that you need to look out for.

If you are experiencing any of the below issues you should contact your dentist for an examination and discuss potential treatment options if sleep apnea is detected:

Interrupted Breathing During Sleep

One of the common signs of sleep apnea is interrupted breathing during sleep. If you are constantly startled awake in the middle of the night, this could be an indication. Some people are not even aware that this is happening to them but suspect that they may be suffering from interrupted breathing patterns through other symptoms. Regardless, it’s best to talk to your dentist about it.

Daytime Exhaustion

Another sign that you have sleep apnea is if you’re experiencing constant exhaustion and sleepiness during the daytime. Being continuously woken during the night can prevent you from having a good night’s rest. This can leave you feeling tired throughout the day and can also result in serious difficulties when trying to concentrate.

Loud Snoring

Snoring has been commonly attributed to this sleeping disorder as well. When the airways become restricted due to overrelaxation of the muscles, snoring occurs. Not only can it keep you awake at night, but it can also prevent your partner from getting a good night’s rest also.

Dry Mouth

If you’ve constantly been waking up in the morning with a dry mouth and throat, it’s likely been caused by open mouth breathing during the night. When the airways close up, your body does everything it can to increase oxygen, which includes breathing through your mouth. Mouth sores and sore throats are also common symptoms for those who suffer from sleep apnea.

Choking Sensations

Sleep apnea often causes patients to experience choking and gasping sensations while sleeping. When the oxygen levels become too low, and the brain is unable to receive as much oxygen as it needs, your body reacts by jolting you awake to breathe in more air.

Other Symptoms

There are also a number of other symptoms that you should talk to your dentist about. If you’re suffering from night sweats, erectile dysfunction, or unexplained high blood pressure, it’s important to bring up your concerns at your next dental visit.

Treatment Options

At Rockcliffe Dental, we offer our patients a non-surgical solution for mild to moderate sleep apnea. If our examination indicates that you have the condition, we will recommend a dental appliance called at Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) or Mandibular Advancement Advice (MAD) to help open the airways while you sleep.

For those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, dental devices have been proven to improve and control sleep more effectively than the standard surgical procedure for apnea. Our devices are also more likely to be used than CPAP machines that tend to be clunky and uncomfortable to wear, making devices a better long-term solution.

The way a dental appliance works to cure sleep apnea is by moving the jaw slightly forward to increase the size of the airways. This can prevent your throat from abruptly closing while helping to reduce any loud snoring. To make sure that your dental appliance fits comfortably, we will custom-design the mouth guard so that it will sit snug in your mouth. In fact, our sleep apnea appliances are comfortable to wear, and you’ll barely notice it’s even there once you get used to it.

We offer a number of dental appliance options to ensure that our proposed solution fits within your budget. The best treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your condition, the structure of your upper airway and your personal preference. Our team will be happy to book you in for a consultation to review your best options.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, it’s time to talk to your dentist about it. If you think sleep apnea is impacting your life, don’t delay: Contact us at Rockcliffe Dental for an appointment and we’ll help you get back to normal in no time.

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