Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder. It is estimated to affect somewhere between 5-20 percent of the adult population. Some people go many years without realizing they suffer from sleep apnea. If you experience any of the following warning signs, or if you have any other reason to suspect you have this condition, you should consult your doctor:
- Loud and frequent snoring
- Waking up with a headache
- Gasping or choking sounds in the night
- Lack of energy, focus and alertness when you’re awake
- Extreme fatigue and drowsiness when you’re awake
- Moodiness and irritability
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Trouble sleeping
Loud, disruptive snoring is one of the most common symptoms that cause people to seek a diagnosis. Your spouse and other family members who live with you may report this type of snoring. It’s important to note that while most sleep apnea sufferers snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. See your doctor before drawing any conclusions.
Treatment is important. Sleep apnea increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, drowsy driving, high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep deprivation among sleeping partners. Fortunately, treatment is available.
Although sleep apnea was traditionally treated with a CPAP mask, which you wear over your face as you sleep, today we also have the option of customized mouth guards. While a CPAP machine provides a continuous spray of oxygen into your airway, a custom oral appliance holds throat tissues in the right position, preventing them from blocking the airway. This appliance looks like a mouth guard you wear over your teeth. The right treatment for you will of course depend on the cause and nature of your sleep apnea diagnosis. If your doctor determines a mouth guard is appropriate, Dr. Frank Scavuzzo can help you find one that works for you.
If you live in Centennial, Highlands Ranch or the surrounding areas of Colorado and are searching for a sleep apnea dentist, please call Scavuzzo Dental Care at 303-741-2727, to arrange a consultation. We want to help you enjoy restful, restorative sleep in the years ahead of you.