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If your sleep is disrupted by intermittent breathing or snoring loudly, then you may have sleep apnea. Although this condition can affect anyone at any age, it most commonly occurs in those who are over 40 years old. It adversely impacts your physical health and your overall well-being. Fortunately, your dentist can help you alleviate the symptoms with an oral appliance for sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Many people may have this sleep disorder but attribute their symptoms to other diseases or other causes such as stress, allergies or alcohol. Generally, sleep apnea causes the muscles of the throat to collapse during sleep, restricting the airway and halting airflow. Your body will unconsciously wake you to gasp for breath, interrupting your sleep and causing you to feel excessively tired during the day.
What Are the Most Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
There are symptoms that you can recognize that will help you to determine whether you need to seek advice from a healthcare professional, such as:
- Waking up because you’re gasping or choking
- Daytime sleepiness
- Having a sore throat or dry mouth when you waken
- Morning headaches
- Intermittent breathing during sleep
- Loud or frequent snoring
Many people, particularly those who sleep alone, are unaware that they have this disorder, even though it’s very common, especially among men. Symptoms of sleep deprivation are one of the dangers of this disorder, so if you think you have it, you shouldn’t delay in seeking treatment. Be especially mindful that you don’t fall asleep while driving, especially if you feel sleepy. Your judgment may be impaired due to sleep deprivation, and you may be moody or irritable because you’re not getting enough sleep. If you experience any of these symptoms, then consult your health professional.
What Are the Sleep Apnea Causes?
Relaxation of the muscles used during breathing is the most common cause of this disorder. When you’re awake, those muscles are stiff, which allows air to flow freely into your lungs. For those with sleep apnea, when you sleep and your throat muscles relax, your throat narrows and restricts the free flow of air. Additional factors that can contribute to the onset of this disorder include:
- Gender – it’s more common in males
- Genetic predisposition
- Excessive weight
- Neck size that’s more than 16 inches
- Being older than 40
If any of these apply to you, then contact our Alexandria office to schedule an appointment for treatment in our office.
Can You Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Alexandria?
If you have a mild form of this disorder, then some simple lifestyle changes may ease some of your symptoms. Side sleeping or weight loss may help ease your symptoms, but if your case is more severe, then you may need surgery. Sometimes, a dental appliance can help treat the disorder, but if not, then you may require surgery. Dental appliances are worn at night and maintain your tongue and jaw in the correct position so that your airway isn’t constricted. Usually, an appliance rather than surgery is the first step in a treatment regimen. If you have this disorder, then call our Alexandria office to make an appointment so that a dentist can evaluate your signs and symptoms to determine if one of our oral appliances will help you. This is a serious disorder, so if you have it, then don’t delay in seeking professional advice.
Does Your Office Provide Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea?
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea in Alexandria, then call our office to make an appointment. We may be able to fit you for a sleep apnea mouth guard that will help keep your airway open during sleep and ease the symptoms of this disorder. Similar to an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouth guard, your sleep apnea mouthpiece is worn only at night or whenever you sleep, so that your symptoms will be less severe or disappear altogether. If you need more information on one of these dental appliances, then call our Alexandria office for an appointment. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and make an appointment for you.
Are Oral Appliances Costly?
The cost of your oral appliance will be unique to your needs and will depend on the type of device you need, your medical insurance coverage, and any dental insurance benefits you may have. We’ll provide you with an estimate of your appliance cost during your initial appointment in our Alexandria office, so call us today to schedule a consultation.
What Are the Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?
OAT, or oral appliance therapy, can improve the quality of your sleep and therefore your overall health. OAT is portable, easy to maintain, non-invasive unlike surgery, and it can improve your health. If you want more information about the benefits that oral appliance therapy can provide, then call our office today and schedule a consultation. Your dentist will evaluate your signs and symptoms and then recommend the best oral appliance for sleep apnea in Alexandria.
Will My Insurance Plan Pay for My Oral Appliance Therapy?
The best source of information about your insurance benefits is your plan provider. Most insurance providers will pay for most or all of your oral appliance therapy costs, but your coverage will be unique to you. Call your plan provider for the most accurate and reliable information about your plan benefits.
If you have sleep apnea, you should consider it as seriously as you would any other health disorder. When your body is continually subjected to sleep deprivation, you can experience serious consequences. Your overall health can suffer, your judgment can be impaired, you may have an accident, especially if you operate heavy equipment or drive, and your quality of life may suffer. If you have this disorder, please call Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Alexandria at (703) 596-0872 without delay and schedule an appointment. We can help you get the care you need in the Alexandria area for treating this disorder. Call us today, we look forward to speaking with you and helping you.