Each night, millions of people endure the effects of sleep apnea, yet few know that dentistry may provide them with a life-changing and life-saving solution.
Sleep apnea is a condition where if you are afflicted you are not able to breathe properly while sleeping. A recent study conducted yielded that one out of three chronic, severe snorers were found to have had a harmful degree of sleep apnea. During the night sufferers will often experience apneas, defined as the temporary inability to breathe, that may last as long as 40 seconds. This then causes your brain to wake you up just enough such that you will move and resume breathing. Most patients do not even know that they have this condition until they are observed by a sleeping partner. This means that most sleep apnea sufferers are unaware of their condition and have just learned to live a life of constant fatigue.
Sleep apnea occurs when your mouth and pharynx muscles become too relaxed while sleeping. When these muscles become too relaxed, the tongue will prevent the adequate amount of air from reaching your lungs. The airways located in the back of your throat become blocked. Therefore, you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air if you are suffering from sleep apnea. As a result of this blockage, you develop extremely loud snoring, shortness of breath, or have chronic feelings of lethargy or restlessness, because you are not able to relax and sleep as deeply as your body needs.
Our thoughtful and conscientious team at DC Dental Spa are quite thorough when it comes to evaluating whether you are suffering from sleep apnea. We will use both the latest in advanced technology at our disposal as well as our calming atmosphere to help us research your situation. Call 202-873-1054 for your initial consultation and let us help you determine how we can improve your sleeping habits. We are committed to helping you feel well-rested and wish to provide you with the specialized treatment you need for all your oral health care.
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are several common signs associated with sleep apnea, but the most common are:
- Extremely loud snoring
- Waking up multiple times in the night
- Chronic morning headaches
- Waking up gasping for air
- Extremely dry mouth when waking
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory loss or brain fog
- Depression, mood swings, and other mood disorders
- Falling asleep during the day or never quite being able to wake up
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Many people simply assume that sleep apnea is just an annoyance with no real health consequences, but this could not be further from the truth. Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk for many serious issues, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Headaches
- Memory Loss
- Diminished Sex Drive
Given the severity of some of these issues in regards to your health and well-being, it is incredibly important that you do not ignore the symptoms of sleep apnea and schedule an appointment with us today to discuss possible treatment options.
The Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
There are several treatment options available for addressing sleep apnea, some of which are designed to lessen the symptoms, while others are designed to address the primary cause.
- Change in Lifestyle Habits: This is generally the least popular option, even though the truth is that your overall health and your daily habits are the leading causes in the development of and the curing of your sleep apnea. If you would like to avoid surgery or a dental appliance treatment, be more mindful of your diet, avoid smoking and alcohol, and exercise frequently. These factors will not only improve your sleep apnea, but they will dramatically improve your overall health and wellbeing.
- CPAP Machine: The most common intervention for sleep apnea is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine) machine, which is essentially a mask that fits over both your mouth and nose at night that is designed to keep your airways open while you sleep. The CPAP machine is an effective intervention treatment in improving your sleep apnea, but you may find wearing it to be uncomfortable.
- Oral Appliances: If you would prefer to avoid the use of a CPAP machine, then there are also several oral appliances that are much less cumbersome. If you are interested in learning more about these devices and to see if having one custom made for you is your best option, talk to DC Dental Spa. There are many benefits of wearing a dental appliance for sleep apnea, which include that they are: Quiet, Easy to wear, Comfortable, Portable, Easy to care for, and An oral appliance can be a viable alternative to continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure therapy.
- Surgery: While it is always best to avoid unnecessary surgery, there are available procedures that are effective in widening your breathing passageways. Our staff will encourage you to make lifestyle changes first before going this route, but if you would like to learn more about this option, our team will be happy to answer any questions.
The Cost of Treating Sleep Apnea
The final cost of treating sleep apnea will be determined by a variety of factors. It is nothing more than lifestyle changes, or a custom dental appliance, or are we considering surgery? The severity of your case and what type of dental plan coverage contributes as well. At DC Dental Spa we will accept cash, most major credit cards, money orders, and personal checks and will provide a payment plan if desired.
If you have any additional questions regarding payments, dental insurance coverage, or available financial options, please contact our office and we will be happy to help.
High Quality Care You Can Trust
At DC Dental Spa our downtown office staff will evaluate your situation and will work to accommodate your busy schedule. Our entire staff understands both your frustrations and your objectives and will share in your positive results and satisfaction. We build on the gratification that comes with the ongoing development of relationships with all our patients. We deeply respect the trust that we have earned from you. We are very caring, patient, and thoughtful, about exercising preventative overall dental health and delivering the enjoyment that comes with your healthy smile. Visit us today at DC Dental Spa, 730 24th St. NW, Suite 9, Washington, DC, 20037, or call 202-873-1054 for an evaluation and consultation to see if you can benefit from addressing sleep apnea and improve your sleeping habits and your quality of life.