Sleep Apnea: Understanding the Condition and How a General Dentist Can Help

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These interruptions can have severe consequences for one’s health and overall well-being. At AH Smiles, we understand the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea to improve our patients’ quality of life.

At AH Smiles, we understand the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea to improve our patients' quality of life.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you often wake up feeling tired, experience loud snoring, or have difficulty concentrating during the day, you may be exhibiting symptoms of sleep apnea. Other signs include morning headaches, irritability, and recurrent awakenings during the night.

Diagnosis and Testing

When visiting our general dentist at AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL, for a consultation regarding your sleep issues, we will conduct an oral examination to assess your airway and discuss your medical history. In some cases, a referral for a sleep study may be recommended to diagnose the severity of your condition accurately.

Treatment Options

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may vary. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is commonly used to keep airways open while sleeping. Alternatively, oral appliances prescribed by our dental professionals could help position your jaw comfortably to prevent obstructions.

Beyond CPAP Therapy

Some patients find CPAP therapy cumbersome or uncomfortable due to its mask design or noise level. Oral appliances offer a more portable solution that could effectively treat mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea without hindering comfort or mobility.

Sleep and Oral Health

Sleep apnea affects more than just sleep schedule; it can also negatively affect oral hygiene. Most patients with this condition tend to sleep with their mouths open in an attempt to get more airflow during the night. This can cause their mouths to dry out, leading to dry mouth throughout the day. But saliva is crucial to fighting off plaque build-up. Treating sleep apnea could help improve your oral health and reduce the chances of developing cavities.

Lifestyle Modifications for Better Sleep Quality 

In addition to conventional treatments at AH Smiles, you might benefit from incorporating healthier habits into your routine. Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and promoting good restorative activities would likely bring significant changes and contribute to better sleeping patterns. These simple adjustments could significantly improve nonphysical and mental wellness outcomes, ensuring proper nightly rest!

At AH Smiles, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a good night’s sleep. If sleep apnea keeps you up at night, a custom oral appliance may be able to help. Call us today at (847) 230-9703 to schedule an appointment and learn more about dental treatment options for sleep apnea.