Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Frequent waking during the night, with or without feeling short of breath
- Very loud snoring, indicated by others who sleep in the same room or nearby
- Cessation of breathing during sleep (usually unknown to you but witnessed by another person)
- Morning headache, dry mouth and/or sore throat
- Daytime sleepiness, irritability, difficulty focusing on tasks and memory problems
What Causes Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax during sleep, at which point the airway closes or narrows during inhalation, making an adequate intake of air impossible. When the level of oxygen in the blood lowers, your brain “alerts” you to this problem by briefly waking you up. You may never realize you awakened, as the event is quite brief. These episodes can occur repeatedly during the night, causing the symptoms above.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Based on years of research, it’s been discovered that these individuals are at a higher risk for sleep apnea:
- Overweight individuals
- Those over the age of 60
- Men are twice as likely to develop sleep apnea than are women
- Women who are post-menopausal
- An inherited narrow throat
- Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
- Tranquilizers, sedatives and/or excessive alcohol intake
- Deviated septum
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
The most common treatments for sleep apnea have, historically, been limited to a CPAP machine or an oral appliance such as a mouthguard that projects the lower jaw forward to relieve snoring and mild sleep apnea. Although mouthguards for sleep apnea are available through retail outlets, a custom oral appliance assures you of better fit and enhanced relief from sleep apnea symptoms.
Our NYC Dental Practice Sleep Apnea Appliance
We craft sleep apnea appliances at our Manhattan-based dental practice. The process includes an examination and measurements of your oral cavity to guide us in designing the best oral appliance for you. The appliance is then constructed at our Manhattan dental office, after which you will return to confirm fit and receive instructions on the use and care of your sleep apnea appliance. Future appointments are scheduled to assess the effectiveness of your appliance, to check the condition of the appliance, and to ensure that it’s both effective and comfortable.
A custom-made sleep apnea appliance has been proven to be an effective solution for many of our sleep apnea patients. For those with serious sleep apnea, the appliance can be worn in tandem with a CPAP machine.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, please discuss this with one of the dentists at our Lower Manhattan dental office. It’s our goal to provide complete oral care, including the design and construction of sleep apnea appliances for our patients who need them.
To your dental health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists