Sleep Apnea

Russell B. Fox, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentists located in Middleboro, MA

Approximately 22 million Americans have trouble sleeping or even focusing during their day thanks to a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. If you find yourself waking up at night, feeling irritable during the day, or having trouble focusing or staying awake when you have to, the team at Fox Dental in Middleboro, Massachusetts, can assess your symptoms and help you breathe easier at night. To get help for your sleep apnea, even if other treatments haven’t worked, call the clinic or book your appointment online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder that affects your ability to breathe at night as you sleep. The condition is dangerous to your health if left untreated, so you should contact your dentist as soon as you or a roommate or partner notices symptoms. 

There are two main types of sleep apnea. It’s also possible to have a combination of both of them, called complex sleep apnea. The two types are:

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues close in as your throat relaxes, which blocks your airway. It’s the most common form of the disorder.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send the proper signals telling your body to keep you breathing as you sleep.

What are the symptoms associated with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea causes symptoms that affect your sleep and your life during the day. Both main types of sleep apnea come with similar symptoms, including:

  • Loud snoring
  • Long pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Recurrent insomnia
  • Tiredness during the day
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Sexual dysfunction

Even though snoring is likely the first symptom that comes to mind when you think of sleep apnea, everyone who has sleep apnea doesn’t snore. 

If you experience several of these symptoms to your knowledge, be sure to bring them up with your dentist at your next visit.

How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

At Fox Dental, the team can help you breathe easier at night with a custom dental appliance, that looks similar to a mouthguard, which opens your airways. 

After reviewing your case, they may also recommend corrective surgery to remove or adjust the tissues in your throat that close if you have sleep apnea.

The most popular method of treating obstructive sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. 

You wear a mask connected to the machine at night as it sends air pressure through your throat to keep it open. If CPAP machines haven’t worked to resolve your sleep apnea symptoms, it may be time to visit your dentist to explore appliances or surgery.

If your nighttime breathing problems are affecting your rest or a loved one’s sleep, call Fox Dental or book an appointment online for sleep apnea assessment and treatment today.