Dental Sleep Apnea Treatment: Pros and Cons | Sleep Apnea Dentist Glen Burnie

Sleep apnea is characterized by frequent lapses in breathing during the night. There has been an increase in the prevalence of this condition among Americans in recent years. Most people suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA), which is caused by a partial blockage of their airways. The good news is that oral appliances can be used to treat this condition. Read on to find out whether dental sleep apnea treatment might be beneficial for you or a loved one suffering from sleep apnea.

MADs (Mandibular Advancement Devices)

Mandibular advancement devices, or MADs, are similar to the mouth guards worn by athletes. The reason for this is that they will fit over a person’s upper and lower teeth while they sleep. The MAD treatment involves gently adjusting the lower jaw and tongue forward so as to prevent the person’s throat muscles from collapsing and obstructing their airways.

Mouthpieces for retaining the tongue

The design of tongue-retaining mouthpieces is similar to that of mandibular advancement devices. Tongue-retention mouthpieces, however, have a small compartment that holds the tongue and uses suction to hold it forward. For patients who cannot shift their jaw sufficiently for a mandibular advancement device, tongue retaining mouthpieces are often recommended.

The Pros and Cons of Oral Appliances

Although using an oral appliance seems more convenient than using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine for your sleep apnea, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. 

PROS

  • Patients using CPAP machines often complain of having an itchy nose when they wake up. This issue is unlikely with an oral appliance since they usually do not affect the nose.
  • Wearing an oral appliance is simpler than using a CPAP machine, which requires cords and wires throughout the night.
  • The compact design of oral appliances makes them easy to transport.

CONS

  • It is not uncommon for patients to complain of jaw soreness, pain, or stiffness. 
  • Oral appliances may also cause gum and tooth pain because of the way they shift the jaw. 
  • It has been reported that some patients have experienced dry mouth or increased saliva production. 
  • It is possible to permanently alter the position of a person’s jaw.
  • You may experience loosening and instability of a crown or bridge over time. 

Schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea office today if you are interested in dental sleep apnea treatment. We can assist you in determining which type of oral appliance is most appropriate for you. Let us help you choose the right option for you.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

6 Risks Associated With Sleep Apnea | Chesapeake Sleep Center Glen Burnie MD

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans. A recent study estimates that one in fifteen Americans live with a diagnosed case of sleep apnea, while 4% live with undiagnosed sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea, whether diagnosed or not, can have serious consequences for your health. Below are some of the dangers of sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing during sleep. Snoring happens when you start breathing again after a period of not breathing. There’s more to snoring than just annoying your bedroom neighbors. It’s actually dangerous for your health.

When you stop breathing, your brain is deprived of oxygen. While you are awake, this lack of oxygen causes a variety of problems. The following are six potentially dangerous consequences:

1. The risk of having a stroke is increased.

Having sleep apnea increases your chance of having a stroke while you are awake. This risk is four times greater than that of someone without sleep apnea.

2. The risk of having a heart attack is increased.

A person suffering from sleep apnea is three times more likely to suffer from a heart attack if left untreated.

3. High blood pressure

Having untreated sleep apnea causes your body to lack oxygen, which causes your heart to pump harder, leading to high blood pressure. During sleep, your hormones are also thrown into overdrive, resulting in high blood pressure throughout the day. 

4. Type 2 diabetes

If untreated, sleep apnea puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t use insulin properly, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.

5. A higher risk of car accidents

It’s more difficult to stay awake during the day if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. If you’re drowsy while driving, you’re more likely to get into a car accident.

6. Disturbances in mood

Sleep deprivation can eventually affect your mood if you do not get enough sleep. When you have a night with limited sleep, you don’t feel energetic and chipper. Just imagine what it would be like if you were never able to sleep well! You may feel depressed and fatigued as a result of it.

Sleep apnea treatments

In the event that you suffer from sleep apnea, you do not need to worry about the risks involved. Make an appointment with our sleep apnea specialist to address the issue at its source. 

The majority of sleep specialists recommend using continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, as a treatment for sleep apnea. However, many people do not adhere to their CPAP usage recommendations, in part due to the device’s loudness and discomfort. Our office can recommend treatment options if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea and Your Oral Health | Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Treatment

Several sleep disorders, including insomnia and snoring, are associated with sleep apnea. Oral health problems can be caused by sleep apnea and vice versa. This article examines the relationship between sleep apnea and your oral health.

What is sleep apnea?

A new study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. During sleep, breathing interruptions are a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, the most common type, occurs when the soft tissues of the airway collapse due to large tongues, obesity, and other factors. As a result of apnea, the lungs do not receive oxygen.

Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle, causing daytime weakness, fatigue, and poor mental performance and has long-term health consequences. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in oxygen deprivation, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

The connection to oral health

Sleep is essential for general well-being, preventing bad breath, mouth ulcers, and periodontitis. Sleep apnea is associated with oral issues such as TMJ disorder, bruxism, and mouth breathing.

TMJ

A connection exists between sleep apnea and disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The upper and lower jaws are connected by the TMJ. There are two TMJs on each side of the face, one on each side. TMJ disorder can cause jaw pain, locked jaws, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and chewing issues.

A 2013 study in the Journal of Dental Research found that people suffering from sleep apnea are also three times more likely to suffer from TMJ disorder. Furthermore, regardless of race, age, weight, or smoking habits, patients who showed signs of sleep apnea had a 73 percent higher risk of having TMJ issues.

Bruxism

The term bruxism refers to tooth grinding or jaw clenching. It is common for people to engage in this habit subconsciously while sleeping, although it can occur at any time. You may wake up feeling tired with headaches and jaw pain if you suffer from bruxism. According to the Journal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache, 31 percent of adults have bruxism, and about a quarter have sleep apnea.

Due to the involuntary and uncontrolled movements of the jaw while sleeping, bruxism is categorized as a sleep-related problem. It is possible that patients are not aware of the disorder, but a dentist will be able to detect the signs during a routine dental examination.

Mouth breathing

As a result of sleep apnea, a person may need to breathe through their mouth. Dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, plaque, mouth sores, and gum disease. According to research published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology, half of all sleep apnea patients suffer from periodontal disease.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can adversely affect general wellbeing. If you are concerned that you may suffer from sleep apnea, contact your general dentist to determine the cause of your sleep problems. To help you sleep better, the dentist will discuss various treatment options.

If you are concerned you may have sleep apnea, please contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea in Glen Burnie | What is the Most Common Form of Sleep Apnea?

Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea

Few things have the ability to impact our health and mental well-being as significantly as the quality and quantity of our sleep. Sadly, many people suffer the symptoms of poor-quality sleep due to undiagnosed sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of interrupted breathing. People who snore loudly and generally feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, may in fact be dealing with sleep apnea.

Understanding obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of apnea diagnosis. It occurs when something blocks part or all of your upper airway during sleep. When this happens, your diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to get air into your lungs. During episodes of obstructive sleep apnea, your breath may become very shallow or you may stop breathing altogether. Often, you will release a gasp as you suddenly begin to breathe again. It’s easy to see how this pattern of interrupted breathing can keep you from enjoying restful, deep sleep.

Warning signs and symptoms

There are a number of common symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to exhaustion or fatigue, individuals with this sleep disorder may also experience:

·         Dry mouth or sore throat upon rising

·         Morning headaches

·         Poor concentration, forgetfulness or mood swings

·         Diminished sex drive

·         Sudden waking and feeling like you are choking

·         High blood pressure

·         Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Obstructive sleep apnea causes

Obstructive sleep apnea typically occurs when the muscles that control your airway become overly relaxed. Some of the underlying causes of this occurrence include obesity, swollen tonsils, and other related health problems such as endocrine disorders or heart failure. Individuals with diabetes and those with large necks may also be more at risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Treating obstructive sleep apnea

If you or someone you love suspect you may have sleep apnea, the first thing to do is schedule an appointment for a complete medical check-up. If sleep apnea is suspected, you may be referred for a sleep study to help identify what is at the root of your sleep disorder. The good news is, obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition. Contact our office to learn more, so you can once again enjoy the deep, restful sleep you deserve.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

What Happens to Your Body When You Sleep

You’ll spend nearly one-third of your life asleep. Sleep regulates appetite control, muscle recovery, mental health, and emotional stability while preventing diseases and disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, many people aren’t aware of the complex nature of this necessary biological function.

The Five Sleep Stages

Your body goes through five or six 90 to 120-minute sleep cycles per night. In each of those cycles, the body enters each of the five sleep stages. Though it doesn’t spend an equal amount of time in each stage, every stage contributes to your overall health.
Stage 1
The mind and body drift in and out of sleep during this first sleep stage. Muscle activity slows as does eye movement. If you’ve ever jerked yourself awake with muscle contractions, you were still in stage 1 sleep. Many people experience a sense of falling because of the speed at which the muscles relax.
Stage 2
During stage 2, brain waves begin to slow with only an occasional burst of activity. Eye movement stops, and your body temperature and heart rate drop in preparation for the deeper sleep stages.
Stage 3
During this first of the deep sleep stages, brain waves transition for the subsequent deeper sleep stages. Though you still experience some faster brain activity, long slow brain waves called delta waves start to take over. Sleepwalking, night terrors, and bedwetting often take place during this stage.
Stage 4
The brain almost exclusively produces delta waves during stage 4 sleep. It’s very difficult for adults or children to wake up from stage 4. It’s these deep stages, three and four, that reduce the sleep drive, making them essential to your next-day energy levels.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep
REM sleep may last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the timing of the sleep cycle. During REM sleep, limbs and muscles are temporarily paralyzed, the eyes jerk back and forth, and brain waves become similar to those experienced during the day. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase while your breathing becomes shallow, irregular, and rapid. Vivid dreams also take place during this sleep stage though you may not remember them.
You don’t necessarily progress through each of the sleep stages in order. You may shift between stage 1 and stage 3 or REM sleep and stage 2. Your body needs all of the sleep stages, which makes it important to not only spend adequate time in bed but promote healthy sleep habits so the quality of your sleep remains high.

Poor Sleep Habits and Sleep Disorders

Your behavior and habits during the day can come back to affect your ability to sleep at night. Caffeine consumed within four hours of bedtime, for example, blocks sleep hormones and could keep you awake for hours. Screen time can have a similar effect because the bright light given off by some electronic devices suppresses sleep hormones. You can help yourself by focusing on healthy sleep habits like going to bed at the same time every day and following a calming bedtime routine.
However, some people may still have trouble falling and staying asleep. In that case, there may be a sleep disorder or nighttime behavior interfering with your sleep. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and even teeth grinding can disrupt your sleep cycles. Consult your physician if you suspect a sleep disorder. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as a therapeutic pillow or specialized mouthguard.
Sleep is important enough that it can’t be ignored. With a better understanding of what it does and why you need it, you’re ready for better sleep.

 

Chesapeake Sleep Dentist | Sleep Deprivation and Relationships

glen burnie childrens sleep apnea dentistSleep disorders can cause a person to wake feeling as if they have not slept. If you experience chronic sleep deprivation, your health can be significantly impacted. Lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to repair itself. In addition to cognitive impairment, reduced feelings of happiness, and a lower overall quality of life, sleep deprivation can impact your ability to exercise the patience necessary to maintain healthy relationships with others.

According to Psychology Today, your face has a harder time forming happy expressions when you’re tired, and your voice has less positive affect. This can negatively impact your relationships. When you feel worn down and appear to be expressing unhappy emotions, it can be difficult to connect in a positive manner to your spouse, children, friends and coworkers.

Sleep deprivation, which is often caused by OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), takes a physical and emotional toll. If you’ve had symptoms of depression or chronic fatigue and also experience restless nights, consider scheduling a sleep evaluation.

Minor to moderate cases of sleep apnea can often be treated with a custom-fitted oral appliance. This oral appliance can comfortably open your airway, allowing better breathing for more restful sleep. Don’t let sleep deprivation take its toll on your health and your relationships. Contact us today to learn more about sleep apnea therapy and to schedule a consultation.

Sleep Specialist Chesapeake | Myths About Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Specialist Near Me

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep. It often goes undiagnosed and can lead to sudden death. It is important to learn about this condition so you can get treatment before it’s too late.

Myth: Sleep Apnea isn’t Dangerous

If left untreated, sleep apnea can be incredibly dangerous. Sleep apnea can cause work related incidents, car accidents and overall health problems. Many fatal accidents happen because sleep apnea causes extreme daytime fatigue.

Myth: Sleep Apnea only happens in Old Age

Many people believe that sleep apnea only affects the elderly. In reality, sleep apnea can affect people of all ages including children. While it is more prevalent in people over 40, it is possible to have sleep apnea in your 20’s, 30’s, or even teenage years.

Myth: A CPAP is the Only Treatment Method

Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines are one of the most effective ways of treating sleep apnea, but they are not the only treatment. Surgery can help by removing tissue that is causing the blockage. Additionally, some people with mild sleep apnea can get relief from symptoms by sleeping on their side or using a special pillow.  Others can use a specifically designed mouthpiece to manage their symptoms.  For those with sleep apnea that are overweight, losing weight can also help decrease symptoms.

Myth: Snoring Always Means Sleep Apnea

While it is true that snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, this doesn’t mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea.  It also doesn’t mean that you don’t have sleep apnea if you don’t snore. People with sleep apnea stop breathing while they are asleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night. This impacts their overall health by interrupting their sleep cycle which can also cause life-threatening circumstances.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of sleep apnea, call to schedule an appointment with us today.

Sleep Dentist Near Me | Are You at Risk in Your Sleep?

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Dentist Near MeDuring sleep your body is working to support healthy brain function. A lack of quality sleep is tied to bad moods, increase risk of illness, weight gain, lack of focus, and more.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing frequently throughout the night. If you suffer from sleep apnea, the quality of your sleep may be impacted. The temporary oxygen deprivation you experience could lead to serious health issues over time, including stroke, heart disease and organ failure. Below are some of the common symptoms you could experience if you have sleep apnea.

Loud Snoring

If you experience loud snoring that is prominent throughout the night, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

Waking with Shortness of Breath

Regularly waking up gasping for breath is a common side effect of sleep apnea.

Daytime Sleepiness

If you struggle to stay awake and alert throughout the day no matter how early you get to bed, sleep apnea could be disrupting your body’s sleep cycles.

Morning Dry Mouth

Waking up with dry mouth could be a sign that you’re struggling to get enough air at night.

Insomnia

If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, sleep apnea could be affecting the quality of your sleep.

While other conditions can contribute to these symptoms, they are all common occurrences for individuals with sleep apnea. If you find that you’re regularly experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a sign of a serious problem. Contact our dental team today to schedule a consultation with our doctor for treatment plans.

Chesapeake Sleep Apnea | 3 Surprising Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Dentist Near Me

Sleep apnea is a serious, life threatening condition. Many people think that sleep apnea is prevalent in people who are overweight and snore loudly. However, there are unfamiliar symptoms that suggest the presence of this sleep disorder. Consider some of these alternative signs and whether they are contributing to untreated sleep apnea.

Depression

Sleeping often affects your mood the next day. Depression and sleep apnea are linked with one another because lack of sleep can cause irritability, low energy levels, loss of interest in daily activities and feelings of sadness. When any of these symptoms occur, treating sleep apnea may help.

Trouble Thinking

Sleep apnea can have a tremendous impact on your ability to think clearly throughout the day. With sleep apnea, frequent awakening to restore breathing patterns can result in a poor quality of sleep. One of the major functions of sleep is to refresh pathways and neurotransmitters in the brain. When sleep continues to be disrupted, your brain can’t restore back to a normal sleep pattern.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

The National Sleep Foundation explains that bruxism is a common condition that affects up to 8% of the population and may be linked to untreated sleep apnea. The relationship between teeth grinding and sleep apnea is directly related to repeated sleep disturbances. When breathing stops and starts to resume, it is usually accompanied by snoring, gasps, mumbles, or bruxism.

Sleep apnea is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. However, there are other uncommon signs that could mean you have sleep apnea. Without treatment, sleep apnea increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, heart failure and irregular heartbeat. Visit us if you are experiencing any signs of sleep apnea. We can make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual needs.

Call us today for a consultation.

Sleep Dentist Glen Burnie | Are You At Risk In Your Sleep?

Glen Burnie Sleep Specialist

You might think of sleep simply as the time when your body gets to relax and refresh itself for the new day. While this is technically true, there are a lot of important ways your body is at work throughout the night to keep you in optimal health. A lack of quality sleep is tied to bad moods, increase risk of illness, weight gain, lack of focus, and more.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes an individual to stop breathing frequently throughout the night, often without even realizing it. If you suffer from sleep apnea, the quality of your sleep could be impacted. Even more seriously, the temporary oxygen deprivation could lead to serious health issues over time, including stroke, heart disease, organ failure, and more. Below are some of the common symptoms you could experience if you have sleep apnea. If any of these sound familiar, contact our dental team today to learn about the potentially life-saving treatment options we offer to patients suffering from sleep apnea.

Loud Snoring

If you experience loud snoring that is prominent throughout the night, it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

Waking with Shortness of Breath

Regularly waking up gasping for breath is a common side effect of sleep apnea.

Daytime Sleepiness

If you struggle to stay awake and alert throughout the day no matter how early you get to bed, sleep apnea could be disrupting your body’s sleep cycles.

Morning Dry Mouth

Waking up with dry mouth could be a sign that you’re struggling to get enough air at night without realizing it.

Insomnia

If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, sleep apnea could be affecting the quality of your sleep.

While other conditions can contribute to these symptoms, they are all common occurrences for individuals with sleep apnea. If you find that you’re regularly experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a sign of a serious problem. While treatment options for sleep apnea exist, their effectiveness is limited to how early you address the issue. Contact our dental team today to learn more about the causes of sleep apnea and to schedule a consultation with our doctor to see how we can help.