Sleep Apnea Doesn't Have to Prevent You (or Your Partner) from Getting a Good Night's Rest Anymore

Sleep Apnea Hudson River Dental Arts, Dr. Jennifer Sunkin  Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Do you ever get up after a full night’s sleep and still feel exhausted? Or does your partner complain about being kept up all night by your snoring? If so, you may have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway that makes you stop breathing at night, and untreated, it can leave you exhausted and irritable and keep your loved ones awake all night. Luckily, relief is in sight. Through proper treatment of this condition, you and your partner can welcome back a restful night’s sleep.

Here at Hudson River Dental Arts, Dr. Jennifer Sunkin regularly treats our patients in the Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, area who have sleep apnea. Here’s what happens if we suspect sleep apnea is causing your disruptive sleep and how we can treat it.

Signs you might have sleep apnea

Snoring, especially loud snoring, is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. Sometimes, patients first learn they might have sleep apnea because their partner or other loved ones hear their snoring at night.

People with sleep apnea often feel fatigued and irritable during the day from not getting restful sleep. They might also notice they wake up frequently at night, sometimes feeling as if they’re struggling to breathe.

Other sleep apnea symptoms include dry mouth, insomnia,and headaches.

An oral issue may be to blame

Did you know that the cause of sleep apnea is often an oral issue? While sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors that lead to a collapsed or blocked airway, one possible cause is abnormalities in the mouth or throat.

In some cases, a patient’s airway is blocked by large tonsils. Other problems can include a small jaw, a misaligned jaw, or a large tongue which can make it harder to breathe well at night.

People who are overweight are prone to obstructive sleep apnea because extra fat causes tissues in the throat to collapse, although it’s possible to be at a healthy weight and still have sleep apnea.

Dentists are often the first practitioners to notice abnormalities in the mouth that contribute to sleep apnea. Dr. Jenn works with patients to help them get a diagnosis and treat their sleep apnea.

Getting a diagnosis

The first step to getting diagnosed with sleep apnea is to make a dental appointment. In an initial consultation, Dr. Jenn meets with you to discuss the symptoms you’re experiencing. Then she’ll evaluate your mouth by performing a examination. Oftentimes she refers you to a qualified sleep specialist for a workup and sleep study to see if you have sleep apnea.

Sleep well again with apnea treatment

In most cases, Dr. Jenn treats patients who’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea with custom dental appliances or CPAP treatment.

Custom dental appliances help position your jaw to hold your airway open while you sleep. Your oral appliance, which is something like a night guard, is specially designed to fit your mouth.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure therapy. If you’re prescribed this treatment, you’ll wear a mask connected to a machine that blows air into the throat to keep your airway open at night.

If you and your partner are struggling to get a full night’s sleep, we can help you both rest easily again. To schedule an initial consultation to discuss your symptoms, call our office or book online at any time.

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