The Importance of a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is a necessity, but quality sleep is what helps us live longer, healthier lives. Unfortunately, many people often find themselves going to bed early and still waking up tired. They may wake up with earaches, headaches, and difficulties concentrating. If this sounds like you, you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can wreak havoc on every facet of your life by depriving you, and sometimes those around you, of quality sleep. While it’s often characterized by heavy snoring, which people and their bed partners often dismiss as just an annoying habit, if left untreated it can go on to cause serious problems. Fortunately, at the office of A. Scott Grivas III, DDS, INC. offers effective treatment for sleep apnea, so you can get the sleep you need for a healthy happy life.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by intermittent stopping and starting of breathing patterns while you’re sleeping. Due to the restricted breathing, your brain will jolt your body awake. While these interruptions only last seconds, they usually occur hundreds of times per night.
There are three forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when your airways narrow due to the collapse of soft tissues in your mouth and throat, such as your tongue and tonsils. These tissues obstruct your airways, making breathing much harder and often causing loud snoring.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the body to breathe during sleep. This happens regardless of whether or not the airway is physically obstructed. Causes of central sleep apnea tend to be more related to the activity with the brain stem.
- Complex (or mixed) sleep apnea (MSA) is the rarest form of sleep apnea and occurs when both obstructive and central sleep apnea are present at once.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Possible symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Weight gain
- Waking up gasping for breath
- Snorting in your sleep
- Sore throat and dry mouth in the morning
- Headaches upon waking
- Sleep deprivation
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased cognitive ability
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory loss
If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, please don’t hesitate to call our office by dialing (916) 929-9222.
Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Not only is sleep apnea a serious disorder that robs you of the rest you need to live, it can also have far reaching consequences on every other aspect of your life. Some of the consequences of untreated sleep apnea include the following:
Decreased Mental & Physical Health
Sleep apnea can lead to a variety of mental and physical illnesses, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Enlargement of the heart tissues (Cardiomyopathy)
The Married Couple’s Sleep Study, conducted by The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center, found that sleep apnea and snoring increase the chances of divorce. This is because one or both partners aren’t getting the sleep they need, often leading to irritability, mood swings, increased arguments, and couples deciding to sleep separately.
Sleeping separately is often referred to as sleep divorce. This phenomenon may lead to decreased communication and intimacy, which can further harm the relationship. Speaking of decreased intimacy, sleep apnea often results in decreased libido and sexual dysfunction. This can also lead to a lack of intimacy, further increasing marriage dissatisfaction and increasing the chances of separation.
Finally, if your snoring is too loud, also called heroic snoring, the damage to your relationships may extend beyond your bed partners. Heroic snoring reaches decibels similar to a vacuum cleaner and can often be heard through walls. This means that other members of your household, even those who don’t sleep in the same room as you, may be losing sleep at night. This can lead to resentment and arguments between you and other members of your family and/or household as well.
Decreased Performance & Increased Risk of Accidents
Chronic sleep deprivation, another side effect of sleep apnea, wreaks havoc on your ability to focus, respond and react. This means your work performance is likely to be negatively affected, potentially affecting your career. Your chances of workplace and traffic accidents increase as well. In fact, sleep apnea has been linked to thousands of traffic fatalities every year.
For reasons such as these and many others, undergoing effective treatment for sleep apnea is vital for living a happy, healthy life. Fortunately, sleep dentists like Dr. Grivas can treat certain cases of sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a custom-made mouth piece that you can wear while you sleep. The oral appliance holds your jaw in the right position, helping to prevent your soft tissues from collapsing and keeping your airways open. Here’s how it works:
- Dr. Grivas will most likely have you undergo a sleep study, either at home or at a sleep center, to determine if you have sleep apnea. During a sleep study, electrodes will be attached to your head and body. These electrodes are attached to machinery that records vital information such as your breathing patterns, eye movement, and how often you wake up during the night.
- A sleep specialist will analyze the data to accurately diagnose your case and pass the information on to your dentist.
- Once Dr. Grivas has confirmed that you have sleep apnea, he’ll create your custom-made oral appliance by taking images and impressions of your smile.
- These images and impressions will be sent to an off-site laboratory, where they will serve as the blueprints for your oral appliance.
- Once your appliance is ready, you’ll return to our office. Dr. Grivas will ensure the appliance fits comfortably and show you how to wear it while you sleep.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
- Comfortable – Oral appliances are custom-made to fit comfortably in your mouth while you sleep. They’re also small enough to allow you to sleep in almost any position.
- Quiet – Oral appliances are non-electric treatment options without noisy parts. This helps to ensure that you and your partner will be able to enjoy a quiet night’s rest.
- Portable – Oral appliances are small enough to be carried wherever you go, making them easy to travel with and helping to ensure you don’t miss a good night’s rest.
- Simple – Oral appliances are easy to use. Simply wear it in your mouth while you sleep and start enjoying the benefits of a good night’s rest.
- Improved Quality of Life – With oral appliance therapy you can start enjoying better mental and physical health, your partners and other members of your household can rest easier, and you’ll likely find that life in general is more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition that tends to get worse the longer it goes untreated. Certain symptoms and illnesses caused by sleep apnea, such as weight gain and type 2 diabetes, can actually make sleep apnea worse. This often worsens the symptoms and illnesses, causing a cycle of increasingly severe health issues.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, don’t wait for it to go away. Instead, contact our office and schedule an appointment with our Sacramento dentist, Dr. Grivas by dialing (916) 929-9222.
The exact cost of your sleep apnea treatment will depend on multiple factors including the severity of your case and your insurance. We encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. If you’re uninsured or underinsured, don’t panic. At our Sacramento office, we provide flexible financing options, including third-party financing such as CareCredit and LendingClub.
The best way to effectively treat sleep apnea is with professional help from a sleep dentist like Dr. Grivas. Without professional intervention, sleep apnea is likely to get worse. Until you can see a professional like Dr. Grivas about your sleep apnea, you may be able to control your symptoms better by taking the following steps:
- Talk to a doctor about diet and exercise changes that might be safe for you
- Sleep on your side
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, especially before bedtime
- Replace your mattress if it’s old or uncomfortable
- Try throat exercises to strengthen your oral tissues
- Treat allergies and congestion with medication
While sleep apnea on its own isn’t usually life-threatening, it often leads to the development of mental and physical illnesses and disorders. These issues can decrease quality of life, reduce life expectancy, and in certain cases, negatively affect those around you. If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, don’t ignore them. Instead, contact our office and schedule an appointment with our Sacramento dentist, Dr. Grivas by dialing (916) 929-9222.
For Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment, Call Dr. Grivas Today!
If you’re ready for long-lasting relief from sleep apnea, or you have questions about sleep apnea treatment, don’t hesitate to call our Sacramento office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Grivas by dialing (916) 929-9222. you can also submit the contact form at the bottom of the page and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly. Our practice provides effective sleep apnea treatment to new and returning patients from Sacramento and surrounding areas such as Florin, La Riviera, and Rosemont, CA.