February 6, 2018
Did you know that between 50 and 70 million Americans have a sleep or wakefulness disorder? About 12 to 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea alone, but it’s also common for many people to go undiagnosed. This is typically because it’s a very difficult condition to confirm, even though it’s the leading cause of excessive daytime drowsiness. What’s even worse is people who have sleep apnea are twice as likely of having a stroke, so it can be devasting for your overall health as well.
If you think you might have sleep apnea in Pomona, you’ll need to learn about the treatments your dentist offers to manage it properly and regain your night’s sleep.
Make Use of an Oral Appliance
For those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you can benefit from the use of a small oral appliance specifically designed for treating the condition. This oral appliance is custom-made to fit your mouth exactly and reposition your mouth for better breathing.
By clearing your tongue and/or upper palate, your airway has a clear path for air to travel in and out without interruption. The device works by holding your lower jaw in place, preventing it from collapsing. It’s more ideal for patients with mild or moderate levels of sleep apnea and the results should be almost instant.
Consider the Gold Standard for Sleep Apnea Treatment
For patients with more severe sleep apnea, the continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machine is the best solution. This machine works by pushing air down the throat so that the brain receives enough oxygen throughout the night. This air is administered through a nasal mask that is worn during sleep.
Keep in mind that it’s common for patients to use both treatments together, as many people struggle to use CPAP on a high setting. Using an oral appliance in tandem with CPAP allows the patients to lower the settings on the machine without sacrificing effectiveness from both.
Additional Ways to Manage Sleep Apnea in Pomona
While these treatments are quite effective, it doesn’t hurt to examine your current lifestyle choices as well and see if adjustments can be made. Consider these tips before your next night of sleep and see if you notice a difference:
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use, Smoking, and Sedatives – Alcohol is known for interfering with sleep quality and relaxing the throat muscles which can lead to increased snoring. Smoking and alcohol also contribute to inflammation and fluid retention in the airways. To reduce sleep apnea, work towards quitting smoking and avoid consuming alcohol at least three hours before bed.
- Humidify your Bedroom – Humidifiers encourage your sinuses to drain and allow more air to move through your airways. This can decrease snoring and congestion, making breathing easier during sleep.
- Change Your Sleeping Position – According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, sleeping on your side and keeping your head slightly raised is the best position to alleviate sleep apnea. Avoid sleeping on your back as this can make your symptoms worse.
Have more questions or want to get your sleep apnea in Pomona officially diagnosed? Schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Peter Auster earned his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. With over 30 years of experience in dentistry, Dr. Auster and his team are fully capable of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea through a variety of oral appliances. To learn more about his expansive professional background and practice, contact him at (845) 364-0400 or visit his website.
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