Feeling drowsy during the day may be a sign of more than just boredom at work. More than 18 million adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a common cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Left untreated, sleep apnea increases the risk for a wide range of conditions, including asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. Traditional treatment with a CPAP machine involves wearing a mask at night, which patients often find uncomfortable. Find out how an oral device can help you sleep soundly without fussing with masks or machines.
Understanding sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea refers to a condition in which you stop breathing multiple times during sleep. This occurs because the muscles in the back of your throat are unable to keep your airway open while you’re asleep. Though the interruptions are brief, they can occur up to 100 times per hour. Each time it happens, your body and brain are deprived of oxygen, paving the way for fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and health problems, like high blood pressure.
Obesity is a major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. Excess fatty tissue in your neck may block your airway when your muscles relax during sleep. In men, having too much abdominal fat increases the risk for sleep apnea, although experts aren’t yet sure how. Other factors, like having a family history of sleep apnea, increase your risk.
Most people with sleep apnea are completely unaware that they have it. Snoring is one of the most common warning signs. Because sleep apnea robs you of restorative sleep, daytime drowsiness is also something to look out for. Without good sleep, you may experience trouble concentrating, mental fatigue, and a general rundown feeling as you go about your day. If you snore and don’t sleep well, it’s a good idea to consult with a specialist.
How a dentist can help with sleep apnea
When you think about seeing a dentist, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, dental sleep medicine is a growing field that focuses on using oral appliances to treat sleep disordered breathing, like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The team at Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine have advanced training and Dr. Doueck is a diplomate is Sleep Medicine. He is treating obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and daytime sleepiness effectively with a dental sleep appliance instead of a CPAP mask and hose machine. He has been helping patients reclaim their sleep and improve their quality of life.
The TAP 3® for sleep apnea
The team at Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine recommend the TAP 3® for obstructive sleep apnea. The TAP appliance is custom-made to fit your mouth comfortably and consists of a two-piece appliance that fits securely over your upper and lower teeth, similar to a retainer.
It works by preventing your jaw from sliding backward during sleep so that your tongue and soft tissues don’t collapse in your throat and block your airway. The appliance is adjustable and allows you to easily choose the degree to which it holds your jaw forward.
Tap 3 effectively treats sleep apnea and improves sleep. Additionally, the Tap 3 eliminates snoring in more than 95% of patients. The appliance is easy to fit, leaves your tongue plenty of room, and doesn’t require you to wear masks or be hooked up to a machine.
Don’t let sleep apnea rob you of a good night’s sleep and energy during the day. To find out if an oral appliance is right for you call our Brooklyn, New York, office or use our online tool to schedule a consultation.