DiRenzo Family Dentistry
Dentists located in Purcellville, VA
Almost 30 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This condition may obstruct your breathing hundreds of times a night and interrupts sound, regular sleep. Often, a simple oral appliance is the solution to your sleep apnea. Dr. Gregory DiRenzo and Dr. Nicholas Bett can evaluate your tongue and throat structure and fit you for such an appliance. Contact DiRenzo Family Dentistry in Purcellville, Virginia to find out if this is the solution to your sleep apnea. Call the office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
What is Sleep Apnea?
When your muscles relax during sleep, the soft tissue in your throat can collapse and block the airway. That causes a pause in your breathing that reduces your oxygen levels and triggers your brain to wake you, disturbing your sleep. It also reduces the size of your airway, so the air that travels through makes a snoring sound as it hits the vibrating tissue.
How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?
Sometimes, you don’t know you have sleep apnea; you simply feel fatigued during the day due to the interruptions in your sleep cycle. Symptoms, often identified by a bedmate, include:
- Loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds during sleep
- Waking up with a sore, dry throat
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Lack of energy during the day
- Insomnia or waking repeatedly
What are the Health Risks of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea puts your health at risk. If it goes untreated, you’re at higher risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
Sleep apnea also increases your risk of an accident, as it raises your risk of drowsy driving and operating machinery while exhausted.
How Can a Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?
A sleep doctor diagnoses sleep apnea and may suggest you get an oral appliance to keep your airway open. The appliance acts as a mouth guard as it maintains a larger size to the upper airway. You only need to wear it during sleep. A sleep doctor often recommends the oral appliance in conjunction with weight loss therapy.
How Does the Oral Appliance Help?
The oral appliance supports your jaw in a forward position to help maintain the open upper airway. While other treatments for sleep apnea include the CPAP machine, many people find them uncomfortable and noisy. Plus, an oral appliance is easy to care for and portable.
An oral appliance is a viable, FDA-approved alternative for many sufferers of sleep apnea. Dr. DiRenzo and Dr. Bett are qualified to determine which model is right for you. They then custom-make the appliance using a mold. Doing so ensures it fits your teeth and mouth to keep your airway open and support healthy sleep.