Do you often wake up in the morning feeling as though you got no sleep at all even though you went to bed early? Has your spouse complained that you snore loudly, or have they expressed concern that you sometimes stop breathing in the middle of the night? You may be suffering from sleep apnea, which can cause a number of health and dental issues. Fortunately, at Pope Dental in Walnut Creek, CA, we offer a few treatments for patients who suffer from sleep apnea.
So what is sleep apnea exactly? Basically, when you sleep, you should be able to breathe easily through your nose throughout the night. Although, with sleep apnea, the tissue in the back of your throat will actually collapse and close off your airways. In more mild cases, this may only cause loud snoring, but in cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the patient will not be able to breathe and may seem to struggle and choke until their airways open again.
You can see how sleep apnea can cause disruptions to your sleep, but did you know that it can also affect your teeth and gums? People who suffer from sleep apnea often sleep with their mouths open as their body attempts to get more oxygen. As your teeth and gums become dried out from air passing over them, your saliva will not be able to carry away bacteria and germs that cause tooth decay.
You can do some things on your own to reduce the severity of your sleep apnea, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco and sleeping on your side. However, doing these things may not give you the immediate rest and relief you want. At Pope Dental, we offer a few different treatments, depending on your needs and the severity of your sleep apnea.
Many patients find that using oral appliance therapy (OAT), which is a device much like a mouth guard, helps them breathe easier. For others, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine helps put gentle air pressure on the tissue at the back of their throat to keep it open and allow them to breathe. In some very severe cases, we may recommend upper-airway surgery to solve the problem.
Contact Our Walnut Creek Dentist
Visit us at Pope Dental in Walnut Creek, CA for your consultation, and Dr. Pope will help you find the best option to give you more rest and better oral and overall health. Contact us today at 925-939-4989, or you can fill out our online contact form.