Do you snore or wake up gasping for air?
Loud, aggressive snoring is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, the most common out of all the sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health condition that affects your quality of sleep and your overall health. If you do not seek treatment for your sleep apnea, it can often lead to severe health complications that can affect your quality of life
DC Precision Dentistry is home to Dr. Justin Deckard. As an esteemed member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Deckard has undergone advanced training in order to provide effective treatment for those suffering from sleep apnea.
Dr. Deckard can work with patients to spot signs of sleep apnea, get a sleep study done, and design a treatment plan to address their symptoms. We encourage patients to discuss any symptoms they may be experiencing during their next appointment. In addition to treating sleep apnea, we provide treatment for many common dental concerns.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction in the airway that constricts the flow of oxygen. Patients repeatedly stop breathing numerous times throughout their sleep cycle.
When the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses, oxygen is not able to freely flow through the necessary pathway. The lack of oxygen can cause a wide range of symptoms that can affect your overall health. It is crucial to treat sleep apnea as soon as possible.
Common signs of sleep apnea may include:
- Loud snoring
- Moodiness, Depression
- Chronic headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Waking up gasping for air
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
Certain patients are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. If one or more of these risk factors apply to you, be sure to talk to a professional to determine if there is anything you can do to lower your risk and improve your health.
Risk factors for sleep apnea:
- A family history of obstructive sleep apnea
- Large neck circumference
- Over the age of 40
Studies suggest that patients with sleep apnea are more prone to heart attacks, depression, strokes, and other severe health concerns. Understanding your risk and the signs of sleep apnea may benefit you in the future.
Treatment For Sleep Apnea in Washington, DC
For patients who are exhibiting signs of sleep apnea, Dr. Deckard may work with you to order the necessary screenings and sleep testing. The type of treatment you receive will depend on your overall health and the severity of sleep apnea. Dr. Deckard may advise patients to change certain lifestyle habits that may contribute to sleep apnea.
At DC Precision Dentistry, Dr. Deckard offers a full range of sleep apnea solutions for patients in need. Dr. Deckard may recommend an oral sleep appliance as an alternative to the CPAP machine.
The goal of an oral sleep appliance is to reposition the jaw to allow proper airflow to pass through the appropriate passages. Oral appliance therapy is often successful for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or who have proven to be intolerant of the CPAP machine.
If you suspect you are someone you love may have developed sleep apnea, contact our Washington, DC dentist office. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 851-7554 or request an appointment online.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
What happens if I don’t treat my sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can lead to much more serious issues if you do not treat it. In the short term, you can suffer from depression, and irritability, and are at a higher risk for things like falling asleep at the wheel. In the long term, sleep apnea can put people at a higher risk for stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and high blood pressure.
If I’m not obese, can I get sleep apnea?
While obesity tends to make you a lot more likely to develop sleep apnea, there are other things that make you more likely to get it as well. You aren’t safe from sleep apnea risk if you aren’t obese. If you’re male, have diabetes, or have a family history of sleep apnea, your risk is increased.
Is sleep apnea considered a disability?
Most doctors do not consider sleep apnea a disability. However, sleep apnea can put you at risk for breathing issues or heart problems. Depending on the condition, it may be considered a disability.
What should I avoid if I have sleep apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to avoid activities that may worsen symptoms or increase the risk of complications. These include avoiding alcohol and certain medications (especially sedatives), sleeping on your back, and being overweight.
It’s also important to stay away from smoking and recreational drugs, as these can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. Lastly, you should avoid sleeping on your back, as this position can cause your tongue and other tissues to fall back and obstruct your airway.
Can an overbite cause sleep apnea?
Yes, an overbite can contribute to sleep apnea. An overbite, also known as overjet, is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively. This can cause the tongue and soft tissues in the mouth to push backward and narrow the airway, leading to sleep apnea.
People with an overbite may benefit from orthodontic treatment to correct their bite and alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea. However, it’s important to note that there can be multiple factors causing sleep apnea. You should consult with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Does sleep apnea get worse with age?
Yes, sleep apnea can get worst with age. The airway muscles tend to become weaker as you age and the risk of obesity increases. This can lead to a higher chance of developing sleep apnea.
In addition, elderly individuals may spend less time in deep sleep, causing their breathing to become irregular or stop briefly during the night. Elderly individuals need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea as they age and get treatment as soon as possible.