Do you or your partner frequently snore during sleep? Do you wake up feeling groggy and unrested?
Snoring may be more than just a sleep habit. It can be an indicator of an underlying health issue that can sometimes be detrimental to overall physical health and well-being. Millions of Americans are affected by snoring. Not only does snoring disrupt your sleep and prevent your body from getting the rest it needs, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous medical condition in which the snorer actually stops breathing for several seconds, and sometimes up to two minutes. During these apnea episodes, patients with OSA are at risk of developing irregular heart rhythms and reduced oxygen flow to vital organs, including the brain. Snoring can truly be a sign of a serious long-term health risk. It can lead to headaches, fatigue, and in rare instances, sudden death.
Many people don’t realize that an experienced dentist can treat snoring and sleep apnea issues. At Dental Distinction in Chester Springs, PA, Dr. Jason Petkevis offers sleep apnea therapy for his Philadelphia area dental patients. Dr.Petkevis understands that determining the cause of snoring is an important part of providing the correct treatment for long-term relief from symptoms and possible health risks.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dr. Petkevis uses removable oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance for snoring is similar to orthodontic retainers, or sports mouthguards. A snore guard is worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of your tongue and soft tissues in the back of your throat. This allows your airway to remain open during sleep, preventing snoring and sleep apnea.
Many patients prefer this type of therapy versus using a mechanical device such as the CPAP because it is more convenient and comfortable in most cases.
A typical sleep apnea therapy treatment may include the following:
- You will consult with Dr. Petkevis to confirm your diagnosis and be offered options.
- Dr. Petkevis will create digital impressions of your mouth and bite pattern.
- He will create the custom-fit snore guard at his dentist office, or send the impressions to a dental lab to fabricate the night guard.
- You will come back to test out your night guard and be given instructions on proper care and use.
You will be able to sleep comfortably with your snore guard in place. Most patients see an immediate improvement of snoring and sleep apnea symptoms by using the snore guard.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
- Sleepiness or fatigue during the daytime
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
- Headaches in the morning
- Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, depression, or irritability
- Night sweats
- Restlessness during sleep
- Sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking
- Difficulty getting up in the mornings
Snoring & Sleep Apnea FAQs
Do I have sleep apnea if I snore?
While snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, it doesn’t automatically mean you have it if you snore. Many people snore for various reasons. If you snore a lot during your sleep and suffer from additional sleep apnea symptoms, then you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and should schedule a visit with your doctor. A sleep study is the only way to be diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Can I use an oral sleep appliance if I have dental restorations?
Yes! Your night guard will be custom-made from impressions of your mouth and teeth. Many people with dental restorations find an oral appliance to be more comfortable than a CPAP machine. However, you should have some teeth available to support the oral appliance. To determine if you qualify for one, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Petkevis.
What are the side effects of using a sleep appliance?
There are not many at all. An oral sleep device for sleep apnea has a higher compliance rate than a CPAP machine. Some people report having a sore jaw, increased production of saliva, and bite changes. These side effects are typically temporary and can be managed by adjusting your oral appliance.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If snoring or sleep apnea is affecting you or your partner, Dr. Petkevis may be able to help. He has years of experience treating snoring and sleep apnea near you. Call 610–400–1459 or schedule an appointment online.