Better Sleep Is Another Reason To Visit The Dentist
Why do you visit the dentist?
Is it to keep your teeth free from tooth decay? Is it to get treated for gum disease? Is it to replace missing teeth or to improve your smile with cosmetic dental care?
How about this reason: you want to a better night’s sleep.
We understand if this isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the dentist office. But if you live in or near Millburn, NJ, we may be able to help you (or your spouse) sleep better.
We may be able to help with our sleep apnea treatment.
To learn more about sleep apnea, keep reading. To find out more about how we can treat it, call Millburn Dental Arts at 973-957-1604 or contact us with our online form.
How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?
The only way to know for certain is to have a sleep test. Health professionals can use the results to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it’s estimated that around half of all people with sleep apnea do not know that they have it. That also means they are not being treated. We will explain why that can be a problem in a bit.
So maybe the real question is should you be tested?
Any of these could be a symptom of sleep apnea:
▢ Loud and constant snoring
▢ Breathing stoppages when you fall asleep
▢ Waking up feeling like you are gasping for breath
▢ Still feeling tired after sleeping all night
▢ Frequent morning headaches
▢ Feeling moody or irritable
▢ Being easily distracted
▢ Frequent daytime sleepiness
The first two symptoms are things that your significant other or other family members may have noticed. If you are aware of the other symptoms, ask them if they have noticed your snoring or breathing stoppages. (Although, you may have heard complaints about your snoring already.)
The Consequences Of Sleep Apnea
Apnea comes from a Greek word that means “without breath.” When you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing when you fall asleep.
These breathing stoppages can happen hundreds of times each night. Your body does not want to stop breathing, so its response is to wake you up long enough to take a few breaths.
When you drift off to sleep again, you start snoring, until you stop breathing, and the cycle repeats.
Waking up frequently means you may never reach the stages of deep sleep. As a result, you can become sleep deprived, this would explain your fatigue and your frequent daytime sleepiness.
That also helps to explain why people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to be involved in car accidents as other people. Falling asleep at your desk at work can be embarrassing. Falling asleep behind the wheel can be dangerous.
Another consequence of your body’s ongoing fight to keep you breathing is you may be releasing stress hormones frequently. That can affect your overall health in other ways.
Your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes also increases if you have sleep apnea.
And on a personal level, your sleep apnea can affect your relationships as well. Your snoring could be keeping your partner from sleeping well, too. If you are both tired from bad sleep, you both may be irritable, which can lead to other problems.
How To Get Tested
One way is to go to a sleep lab. There you will be trying to sleep in an unfamiliar place.
Or you may be able to do your sleep test at home.
First, you should make an appointment with Dr. Krosser at Millburn Dental Arts. He will conduct an interview with you to assess if you may have sleep apnea. If so, then we can help you arrange an at-home sleep test.
The simple testing device will arrive in the mail. You will use it as directed. The results of the test will be sent to our office. If the test shows that you do have sleep apnea, we can discuss treatment options.
One option is a special oral appliance. This shifts the resting position of your jaw in a way that helps to keep your airways open while you sleep.
Another option for some people is a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine. This involves wearing a mask so that the machine can push air into your airway to keep it open.
We can discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option after your diagnosis.
The First Step Is Talking To Someone
Dr. Krosser has helped many patients at our dentist office in Millburn, NJ. He could help you, too, if you make an appointment to discuss your situation. To request a consultation either fill out our online form or call (973) 957-1604.