Dental Artistry of Walnut Creek
Antonio Margiotta, DMD
Cosmetic Dentist & General Dentist located in Walnut Creek, CA
Constant fatigue and dry mouth in the morning makes the rest of the day feel like an uphill battle. If you think you may be suffering from the effects of sleep apnea, Antonio Margiotta, DMD, at Dental Artistry of Walnut Creek in Walnut Creek, California, can help. Dr. Margiotta offers a number of treatments to help sleep apnea patients, including custom nighttime mouth guards. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. These pauses in breath can occur hundreds of time in any given night, meaning your body may not receive enough oxygen.
There are two common types of sleep apnea that affect patients:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
OSA, the most common form of sleep apnea, occurs when there is a blockage in your airways, typically caused by collapsed soft tissue in the back of your throat.
Central Sleep Apnea
Less common than OSA, central sleep apnea is caused by the brain’s failure to signal your muscles to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is typically seen in patients suffering from stroke, brain infection, or severe obesity.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
There are plenty of sleep apnea symptoms to watch out for, including:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Extreme daytime fatigue
- Sore throat in the morning
- Dry mouth, especially upon waking up
- Chronic insomnia
- Morning headaches
The symptoms of sleep apnea vary from person to person, but it’s important to see a doctor the moment you suspect you have the condition. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to sleep deprivation, heart problems, type 2 diabetes, and more.
Do I have treatment options?
Basic sleep apnea treatments include lifestyle changes such as weight loss, sleeping on your side, and quitting smoking. However, if minor lifestyle changes fail to improve your sleep apnea symptoms, Dr. Margiotta will likely recommend a more substantial treatment, like:
Mandibular advancement device (MAD)
A MAD is similar to a mouth guard used in sports in that it snaps right over the upper and lower dental arches. The device uses metal hinges to push your lower jaw forward, opening up your airways to make it easier to breathe continually throughout the night.
Tongue retaining device
Similar to MADs, but less commonly used, tongue retaining devices are splints that hold your tongue in place to keep your airways open and unblocked.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
CPAP devices are the most effective treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea, as they ensure you never stop breathing throughout the night. A CPAP blows continuous pressure into your throat, through a fitted mask, to keep your airways open while you sleep.
Sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils, a deviated septum, or a small lower jaw resulting in an overbite may require surgery to correct. If a MAD, tongue retaining device, and CPAP machine fail to improve your sleep apnea symptoms, surgery may be your only solution.
Call Dental Artistry of Walnut Creek today or book an appointment online for more information.