Get Better Sleep & Improve Your Health!

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Does your partner or friends complain that you snore loudly at night? Do you wake up after getting an appropriate amount of sleep but still feel exhausted? You may be suffering from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder that affects around 39 million Americans. You’re not doomed to a lifetime of sleeping hooked up to a CPAP machine – there are other non-invasive options available to you, some of which are right here at your Raleigh dentist’s office! Learn more about what Dr. Valerie Preston can do to improve your quality of life and help you get more restful sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

With the National Sleep Foundation estimates that up to half of the U.S. population snores, it might seem like something too normal to be worth mentioning to a doctor, let alone a dentist. However, snoring happens when the airway is obstructed during sleep, whether by the tongue or the soft tissues in the mouth. In many cases, snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, which has a variety of negative effects on the body that range from fatigue all the way to cardiovascular problems.

What Does Snoring Have To Do With My Teeth?

A snoring habit is often paired with mouth breathing, which leaves the mouth dry and more vulnerable to the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Snoring doesn’t always mean sleep apnea, but when it does, an oral appliance can help keep the airway open to facilitate healthier, more restful (and quieter) sleep.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by repetitive episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep, leading to interruptions in breathing. These interruptions, called apneas, can occur multiple times throughout the night and can last for seconds to minutes.

During an apnea episode, the muscles in the throat relax, causing the airway to collapse or become blocked by tissues such as the tongue or soft palate. As a result, airflow is reduced or stopped altogether, leading to a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood and disruptions in sleep patterns.

Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep, often witnessed by a partner
  • Gasping or choking sensations during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Irritability or mood changes

OSA can have serious health consequences if left untreated, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and daytime accidents due to impaired alertness. Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or positional therapy, the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, or in some cases, surgery to address anatomical abnormalities in the upper airway. If you suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How VP Dental Can Help You

Dentists like Preston can play an important role in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) through the use of oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or dental sleep devices. These devices are custom-made by our dentist in Raleigh, NC, to fit your mouth and are designed to help keep the airway open during sleep by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue forward.

Here’s how Preston can help treat your OSA:

  • Evaluation and Diagnosis: Preston will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess your symptoms and risk factors for sleep apnea. This may involve reviewing your medical history, performing a clinical examination of your mouth and throat, and possibly recommending a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis of OSA.
  • Customized Oral Appliance Therapy: If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea or have difficulty tolerating CPAP therapy, Preston can create a custom oral appliance tailored to your specific needs. These oral appliances are designed to hold the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position, helping to prevent the collapse of the airway during sleep.
  • Fitting and Adjustment: Dr. Preston will ensure that the oral appliance fits comfortably and effectively in your mouth. She will make any necessary adjustments to optimize its fit and function, ensuring that it effectively keeps your airway open while minimizing discomfort or side effects.
  • Follow-Up Care: Dr. Preston will provide ongoing monitoring and follow-up care to ensure that the oral appliance remains effective and comfortable for you. She may recommend periodic adjustments or modifications to the device as needed to maintain its efficacy over time.
  • strong>Collaboration with Sleep Specialists: In some cases, Dr. Preston may collaborate with sleep medicine specialists or other healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for sleep apnea that may include a combination of therapies, such as oral appliance therapy, lifestyle modifications, or other interventions.

Improve Your Sleep With Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment in Raleigh, NC

You don’t have to put up with poor quality sleep or invasive treatments for the rest of your life. Preston can improve your sleep quality and health with a simple oral appliance made just for you. Contact us today to schedule your sleep apnea treatment with VP Dental.