Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Specialist
Sleep apnea affects as many as 30 million people in the United States, reports the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you live in the Akron, Ohio area and suffer from disturbed sleep and oxygen deprivation, talk with your dentist about finding a solution. Summit Dental Group can fit you for an oral appliance that prevents the collapse of muscles that causes the pause in breathing and disruption in sleep. Call the office to make an appointment or use the online booking tool to see if this solution is right for you.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, also known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a medical condition that occurs when you stop breathing intermittently during the night for seconds to a minute or longer. It interrupts your sleep and can lead to hypertension, mood and memory problems, and heart disease. It can also make you drowsy during the day – interfering with work, your quality of life, and safety when driving.

What causes sleep apnea?

When you sleep, the muscles relax too much and soft tissue blocks your airway. You stop breathing for a moment, which wakes you up and disturbs your sleep.

Sleep apnea has a genetic component; people with a small upper airway and large tongue or tonsils are vulnerable. Other risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having an overbite or recessed chin
  • A large neck
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Age 40 or older

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is usually associated with chronic snoring, especially snoring that sounds like gasping and choking.  Men tend to present with sleep apnea more often than women. Other symptoms of sleep apnea present when you’re not sleeping. These include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Learning and memory difficulties
  • Falling asleep at work or while driving

What are the side effects of sleep apnea?

If not treated, sleep apnea can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. You might also develop:

  • Heart attack and congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure

How do dentists help sleep apnea?

Your doctor and dentist can work together to determine if an oral appliance therapy will help resolve your sleep apnea. The custom fit appliance is made from an impression of your mouth so it fits just right. It’s non-invasive and easy to use. Other advantages of this treatment for sleep apnea include:

  • Portability
  • Quiet
  • Easy to wear and care for
  • Comfort

What is the procedure for getting an oral appliance?

Your medical doctor usually writes a prescription for an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. You then make an appointment with Summit Dental Group for a clinical evaluation that includes an examination of your jaw, tongue, airway, and teeth.

During this evaluation, your dentist makes an impression of your mouth and teeth. This impression is sent to a dental lab, which makes the appliance.

At your second visit, the dentist fits the appliance to you – making any adjustments for comfort and effectiveness. You’ll also learn how to store and clean it.

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Turkeyfoot Lake Rd. in Green    West Market St. in Akron