General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Largo, MD
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that affects your ability to rest properly. For residents of Largo, Maryland, and the surrounding region, Chibueze Okoro, DMD, MSC, of EZE Dental is an outstanding resource for sleep apnea care. Call the office to schedule a visit, or book online in just a matter of moments.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by an inability to breathe properly during sleep. There are several different types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea develops when the muscles in your throat relax during sleep and partially or fully block your airway. This condition is linked to being overweight or obese, but other causes can also exist.
Central sleep apnea
People with central sleep apnea have a disruption in the communication between their brain and the muscles that facilitate breathing. Heart failure and stroke can cause this form of sleep apnea.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome
This form of sleep apnea displays a mix of obstructive and central sleep apnea characteristics. It can also be more challenging to treat.
Determining whether you have sleep apnea is the first step. A practitioner trained in sleep medicine assesses your sleep to identify problematic breathing patterns and prescribes treatment as needed.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Understanding the signs of sleep apnea helps you know when to seek professional help for yourself or a loved one. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for breath during sleep
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Headache upon waking
- Daytime sleepiness
- Daytime irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
Very often, your sleep partner is the first one to notice something is amiss. People with sleep apnea often disrupt the rest of others with snoring, gasping for breath, or periods of paused breathing.
What treatments help improve sleep apnea?
There are several ways to treat sleep apnea. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is one option. It’s a device that uses a machine, mask, and tubing to push air to keep your airway open.
An oral appliance offers a great alternative. At EZE Dental, customized oral appliances relieve sleep apnea by creating a subtle change in the way you hold your lower jaw during sleep. This keeps your airway more open, allowing you to rest easier.
It takes a couple of weeks to get used to the feel of wearing your oral appliance, which is custom crafted to fit your unique dental alignment. But before long, wearing your appliance will be just another part of your bedtime routine.
To learn more, call or click to schedule a face-to-face consultation at EZE Dental.