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Knowing The Signs of Sleep Apnea

How do you feel whenever you wake up in the morning? Have you been told you snore loud enough to wake the dead? If you’re constantly waking up tired and snore loudly, you might have a serious problem known as sleep apnea.

At George A. Hoop, DDS, we’re treating sleep apnea with a comfortable oral appliance. You can get the relief from your snoring easily in our Naples FL dental office or Fort Myers FL dental office. The appliance positions the jaw forward to keep the airways open at night. It’s a simple, easy alternative to the CPAP machine that you can carry with you anywhere.

Being a full-service dental office, we take pride in treating dental patients of all varieties. That’s why we offer treatments like dental implants for missing teeth and ask all of our patients about their quality of sleep during their regular checkups. We want to cover every inch of your oral health so we can improve your overall health and well-being.

So, what is sleep apnea?  

Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs whenever someone experiences shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while they sleep. There are two kinds of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea, with obstructive sleep apnea being the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue in the throat blocks the airway, while central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the brain to breathe.

It’s concerning whenever you experience breathing issues. We don’t want to scare you, but sleep apnea is a problem that unfortunately can be deadly or heighten your risk for life-threatening illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. People with severe sleep apnea often experience pauses in breathing as often as 30 times an hour. Whenever you have these episodes, your body goes into distress and your blood pressure rises and it can stay elevated throughout the day.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The most common sign of sleep apnea is heavy snoring or waking up gasping for air. Often people come to our office after their bed partner tells them they snore loudly. Sometimes you catch yourself snoring or gasping for air, but most of our patients don’t remember these episodes. Here are a few other symptoms of sleep apnea to look for. People with sleep apnea often:

  • Wake up with dry mouth or dry throat
  • Experience pauses in breathing
  • Feel constant fatigue throughout the day
  • Have insomnia
  • Have foggy memory
  • Experience mood changes or irritability

Treating Your Sleep Apnea

The traditional way to treat sleep apnea is with a CPAP machine. This machine comes in three different parts — the hose, mask, and the machine. The CPAP is still most common prescribed treatment out there for sleep apnea, but many patients cannot tolerate that treatment. And we’ve heard complaints from bed partners about the CPAP being too noisy. In fact, the compliance rate for the CPAP is only about 50 percent. That’s not great, especially considering the dangers of sleep apnea.

The oral appliance is small, custom and comfortable and can be taken anywhere you travel. The oral appliance is ideal for patient with obstructive sleep apnea. The device moves the lower jaw forward to make sure the airway stays open while you sleep. Our patients get used to wearing the device after the first few nights, and the treatment itself works instantly. You’ll immediately see your snoring reduced — or gone completely — and find yourself waking up actually feeling well-rested.

Sleep Better and Feel Better

You can easily treat your dental problems at our Fort Myers or Naples dental office. We’re working with patients of dental complications and ages. Give us a call today at 239-734-7737 to get your treatment started. We’ll start by speaking with you about your issues and your smile goals.

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