• Have you been told that you snore?
  • Do you wake up tired?
  • Do you experience headaches in the morning?
  • Do you have difficulty staying awake during the day?
  • Have you gained 5 pounds or more in the last year?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, chances are, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common, usually chronic, condition that disrupts your sleep, characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. The breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. OSA occurs when tissues in the upper throat relax and come together during sleep, temporarily blocking the passage of air. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a gasping, choking or snoring sound. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired throughout the day.

Sleep Apnea is a Serious Matter

Obstructive sleep apnea often goes undetected by doctors.  Most people are unaware that they have the condition, unless a family member or sleep partner notices the signs. As the leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness, undiagnosed sleep apnea can contribute to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke and accounts for more than 50,000 deaths a year.

Rest Easy…Your Dentist May be Able to Help!

The good news is sleep apnea is 100% treatable.  Dentists with special training in sleep apnea treatment can provide many patients with custom oral appliances designed to eliminate the common causes of obstructive sleep apnea by helping to re-position the jaw and tongue during sleep. Most patients find the oral appliances to be comfortable and easy to wear.  If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself to discuss it with a qualified dentist to find out if oral appliance therapy will help you breathe better and get a good night’s sleep.

Wishing you good health and sweet dreams.

For more information about how oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea may help you, please contact Dr. Ross at Mission Trails Dentistry, located at 6902 Navajo Road at Jackson Drive. Dr. Ross welcomes questions from readers at dentistrysandiego@gmail.com 619-582-9700

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