Has a loved one ever said to you, “You kept me awake all night with your snoring!” If this is happening on a regular basis, you may be one of the 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. It is a disorder that causes breathing to be repeatedly interrupted while someone is asleep. This pause in breathing can lead to diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, low oxygen levels, and memory problems if not treated. Helping patients with chronic snoring is something that your Mansfield, TX, dentists can do by offering oral appliances to wear when they sleep.

What Causes It?

Sleep apnea occurs in both genders and across all age groups. Still, there are several risk-inducing factors that may contribute to it:

  • Being overweight 
  • Smoking
  • Having a chin that is recessed
  • Alcohol
  • Having a jaw that is small
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Having a bite that is large
  • Ethnicity
  • Having an upper airway that is small
  • Genetics
  • Having a neck size that is large

What Are Some Of Its Signs And Symptoms?

Repeatedly snoring throughout the night is one of the biggest signs. A couple of others that you can ask a loved one to let you know about are the absence of breathing and gasping for air while you sleep. Symptoms you may notice include

  • Being fatigued during the day
  • Lacking attention or concentration
  • Having a dry mouth
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Urinating frequently during the night

How Can It Be Treated?

A good way to treat sleep apnea is by wearing a mouthpiece when you go to bed. It will help reduce snoring by keeping the airway open. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris can custom design one that will fit comfortably in your mouth. It holds your jaw forward a bit, which helps prevent the tissues in the airway from collapsing. Two types of mouthpieces that help with this are mandibular repositioning and tongue retaining. With mandibular repositioning, the device covers the upper and lower teeth and holds the jaw to prevent it from obstructing the upper airway. A tongue retaining device is defined in its name. It holds the tongue in a forward position so that it is unable to block the airway.

Other Ways To Treat It

In addition to wearing a mouthpiece at night, there are other lifestyle changes that may help in reducing sleep apnea. These include losing weight if you are overweight (this is the most important change you can make to help deal with it), reduce or avoid alcohol, quit smoking if you currently do, and try sleeping on your side and not your back at night. 

Time To Get A Restful Sleep

If you think you may be experiencing sleep apnea, we can help. This will not only make you healthier but may just make your loved ones happier. If you would like to schedule a consultation, then call Mansfield Dental Associates at 817-473-6227.