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Do you or your partner snore so loudly and frequently that it’s affecting not only your quality of sleep, but your quality of life during the day, and even your relationship with your partner or family? While for some, snoring may be a minor nuisance, for others, it’s the most common sign of a dangerous health condition called sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleep apnea can not only be difficult for you and your family but can significantly increase your risk of developing other serious health problems. Thankfully, Summit Family Dental Care has a convenient, non-invasive, affordable alternative to traditional CPAP treatment.


What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that most often affects men over the age of 40. When certain muscles and tissues in the back of the throat become too relaxed, the flow of air can become restricted during sleep, causing sleep apnea sufferers to actually stop breathing. This can happen up to 400 times per night!

The most common signs of sleep apnea are snoring and fatigue, but sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder, that when left untreated, can interfere with hormone production, cardiovascular function, weight loss, and your ability to function normally during the day.

Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most common signs, symptoms, and characteristics of sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Sleeping and breathing disruptions
  • Frequent urination
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Depression and anxiety

Risk Factors

There are certain demographics that are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea and certain lifestyle habits that contribute to the problem.

  • Males over age 40
  • Overweight or large neck
  • Use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking or tobacco
  • Nasal congestion
  • Narrow airway
  • Family history

Health Consequences

Left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly increase your risk of developing other serious health problems and can increase your risk for work-related or auto accidents caused by a lack of sleep.

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Diabetes
  • TMJ
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How does a dentist treat sleep apnea?

The usual treatment for sleep apnea is a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine, which is worn during sleep and pumps air to prevent airway closures. While CPAP is a good solution for some, other Warsaw and Geneseo residents may find that sleeping with a large mask is difficult and cumbersome. Luckily, Summit Family Dental Care is highly skilled in treating sleep apnea with methods that do not require a CPAP machine, such as Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).

Oral appliance therapy uses an oral device, similar to a mouth guard that you wear during sleep. The device is custom made to fit your individual needs to gently shift the lower jaw forward while you sleep. This slight shift in the jaw positioning keeps the airway open, preventing the collapse that causes the obstruction.

Oral appliance therapy is more comfortable, less invasive, and more affordable than a CPAP machine. And you don’t need an electrical outlet just to sleep, you are free to travel and sleep wherever you are comfortable with oral appliance therapy. A simple mouth guard could change your quality of sleep, your quality of life, and ensure a happier, healthier tomorrow.