All of us have snored during our sleep at one time or another. However, long-term snoring, especially when loud or erratic, can indicate sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder treated by your Leesburg, Virginia dentist, Dr. Ken Rothschild and Dr. Michael Gwaltney. You read that correctly; certain dentists have training in the management of their patients' sleep apnea. You'll learn why in this post.
Sleep apnea: a brief overview
The relaxing of your muscles is necessary for good rest, but in the case of sleep apnea, there's too much relaxation. When the muscles in the back of the throat - the soft palate - collapse over the opening of the trachea, the brain signals the body to awaken due to the lack of oxygen. People who have sleep apnea, like those under your Leesburg dentist's care, often wake up hundreds of times each night, mostly without their knowledge. The result is loud snoring, gasping for air, and excessive tiredness during the day. The consistent oxygen deprivation throughout the night can also contribute to problems with blood pressure and heart disease.
How dentists treat sleep apnea
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your Leesburg dentist will take measurements of your mouth to create an oral appliance, also called a Jaw Advancing Device or JAD, that you'll wear during sleep. The purpose of the appliance is to reposition the jaw in a way that allows the airway to remain open. Research conducted by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has shown that this is an effective way to treat sleep apnea for many people, especially those who are unable or unwilling to wear the masks used in CPAP therapy.
If your sleeping partner has complained about your snoring, or you're wondering why you're so tired during the day, you may be dealing with sleep apnea, it's time to make an appointment with Dr. Ken Rothschild or Dr. Michael Gwaltney in Leesburg, Virginia. Treatment of sleep apnea means a better night's rest and healthier, more productive days!