Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when your airways are blocked by overly relaxed muscles in your mouth and throat. CPAP machines are often unnecessary for the treatment of this more common form.
Treating obstructive sleep apnea may require little more than a customized orthotic device that is worn while you are sleeping. Dr. Wanda Mejia and Dr. George Sepiashvili can work with your sleep doctor to determine if this solution would be effective for you.
If you live in the White Plains or Tarrytown areas, please call 914-332-4402 or email Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today for an evaluation.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Symptoms may include:
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Frequent morning headaches
- Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
Left untreated, it begin to produce symptoms such as:
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or personality disorders
Sleep apnea may also be a risk factor in the development of medical conditions including hypertension, heart disease, and insulin resistance. In extreme cases it may even result in death. If you suffer any of the symptoms, our sleep dentists can refer you to a local sleep specialist to diagnose the disorder and help prevent these serious complications.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
While sleep apnea can affect anyone, certain lifestyle choices and genetic factors can place you at a higher risk. Your risk for sleep apnea will be increased if you:
- Drink excessively
- Use narcotics (both prescription and illicit)
- Are obese
- Have a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a thick neck
- Narrow airway
- Sleep on your back
Some of these risk factors may be easy to identify, but others may require an evaluation by a doctor or a dentist.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
There are many different ways that it can be treated. The treatment that is right for you depends on the severity and cause of your sleep apnea.
Some lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Lifestyle changes may be sufficient for treatment of mild sleep apnea and are appropriate as a complement to any other treatment option.
Lifestyle changes that can make a big difference include:
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Getting more exercise
- Losing weight
- Changing your sleeping position
With mild sleep apnea, you might see your symptoms vanish completely.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is appropriate for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea or those with severe cases who can’t tolerate CPAP.
Oral appliances work by repositioning your jaw, which helps hold open your airway at night. You just put the mouthguard in at night and it can keep your airway from collapsing. In addition, it can help address teeth grinding and clenching as well as overnight jaw pain. Oral appliances are typically covered by insurance.
CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, is considered the gold standard sleep apnea treatment because it is very effective. In this treatment, the patient wears a mask attached to a hose and a pump, which forces air into your nose, mouth, and throat. This keeps the airway open and ensures you are supplied with air.
The only problem with CPAP is that many people don’t like and can’t tolerate this treatment.
Sleep Apnea Surgery
Surgery is considered a last resort. People with the condition have increased risk from surgery, and it has a relatively low success rate. Even if results are initially successful, sleep apnea can return.
Even so, some people are considered good candidates for sleep apnea surgery.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today to schedule a consultation with Tarrytown sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mejia. We are pleased to help people in the Tarrytown, Yonkers, Ossining, Irvington, and White Plains areas of New York find the best solution for restoring a restful night’s sleep.