Sleep Apnea

Smiles Family Dental

Cosmetic Dentists & Family Dentists located in Arlington, Irving, & Flower Mound, TX

It’s estimated that over 100 million people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea, a very serious sleep disorder that can wreak havoc on your overall health. Although a trip to the dentist might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you decide to treat your sleep disorder, dentists are frequently the first medical professionals to detect the symptoms of sleep apnea in patients and can even provide treatment solutions. The talented team at Smiles Family Dental, located in Arlington, Irving, and Flower Mound, Texas, are experts in recognizing the symptoms of sleep apnea and relieving you of its dangers. To learn more about how Smiles Family Dental can help you get a better night’s sleep, schedule an appointment with the team today by calling the office or using the convenient online booking tool.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing for extended periods of time throughout the night. These disturbances can happen as often as 30 times per hour and can last for as long as a minute. Because sleep apnea cuts off the flow of oxygen to your brain, it can lead to a number of potentially severe health complications if left untreated, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Depression

It’s estimated that 80% of people with moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea are currently undiagnosed. If you suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to schedule a diagnostic exam with the team at Smiles Family Dental.

What causes sleep apnea?

The most common cause of sleep apnea is an obstructed airway. When patients with sleep apnea rest at night, the muscles in their throat relax too much, causing pockets of soft tissue to collapse and block their airways. Airway obstruction can also happen if your tongue is too big for your mouth or your jaw is too small for your tongue.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you might notice that you:

  • Snore at night
  • Wake up gasping for breath
  • Are forgetful, drowsy, groggy, or irritable during the day
  • Have frequent headaches
  • Have dry mouth when you wake up
  • Have gained weight

Amongst other things, the team at Smiles Family Dental will be able to notice increased redness in your throat from snoring.

How is sleep apnea treated?

If the doctors at Smiles Family Dental suspect that you’re suffering from sleep apnea, the first thing they’ll do is order a sleep study. During a sleep study, you sleep while hooked up to a machine that measures your oxygen intake to determine the level of severity of your sleep apnea.

If your sleep apnea requires treatment, the team at Smiles Family Dental can give you an oral device called a SomnoDent™ that you wear while you sleep. The SomnoDent is a mouthguard that’s customized to fit the exact shape of your smile and slightly push your lower jaw forward while you sleep, which prevents your airway from collapsing and allows you to get sufficient oxygen during sleep.

SomnoDent is an excellent alternative for patients who don’t respond well to other sleep apnea treatments, like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, and want a more comfortable solution to their condition.

To learn more about how Smiles Family Dental can help you get a better night’s rest, or to begin the process of fitting your SomnoDent, schedule an appointment today by calling the office or using the convenient online booking tool.