It isn’t always obvious when you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), despite the fact that its dominant symptom is hard to miss. Sleep apnea involves the repeated obstruction of airway while you sleep, and as it occurs, it causes you to snore exceptionally loudly until the moment you stop breathing. However, neither the snoring nor the interruption to your breathing pattern are guaranteed to wake you up fully, and the interruptions can continue without you realizing it. Today, we explore how you can determine if you might have sleep apnea, and how a custom-designed appliance from your dentist might be able to help you overcome it.
What happens when you have sleep apnea?
Excessively loud snoring is one of the most frequent signs of having sleep apnea, especially if it follows the distinct pattern of growing louder, stopping, then repeating the cycle over and over again. This cycle indicates the progression of the blockage in your airway, which is caused by certain mouth and/or throat tissues collapsing into it while you sleep. However, while the snoring can be disruptive to others around you, the most concerning aspect of sleep apnea is the fact that it forces you to stop breathing. This forces your body and brain to wake up from just enough to clear the tissues out of your airway, but not enough to rouse you from unconsciousness or make you aware of the interruption.
Signs that you have sleep apnea
In addition to the chronic and loud snoring pattern that marks obstructive sleep apnea, there may be several other noticeable disruptions that occur if you have sleep apnea. Because your sleeping and breathing patterns are constantly interrupted, sleep apnea can make it impossible for you to enjoy deep, restful sleep each night. This can eventually lead to sleep deprivation and symptoms such as daytime fatigue and exhaustion, diminished mental capacity, increased irritability, and more. If you experience signs that you aren’t sleeping well, but believe that you are, then it could indicate your sleep is being disrupted by something you aren’t aware of. If you snore, as well, then it may likely be the presence of obstructive sleep apnea.
How to address your sleep disorder
If you’re diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, then your dentist may be able to help you address the problem comfortably and conveniently with a custom-designed sleep appliance. The appliance can be designed to fit comfortably over your teeth and dental ridges while offering optimal support for your lower jaw. The slightly forward position of the lower jaw helps ensure that your mouth and throat tissues can’t collapse into your airway while you sleep, or cause an obstruction severe enough to stop you from breathing.
Learn if you can benefit from a sleep appliance
If you snore constantly or have obstructive sleep apnea, then learn if a custom-designed sleep appliance can help you get the rest you deserve. To learn more, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI, today at (248) 852-1820.