Darien, CT dentist Dr. David Pereira has training in dental sleep medicine and works with patients to diagnose and treat snoring and sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although snoring can have a variety of underlying causes, determining the cause of your snoring is important to avoid the potential health risks associated with OSA.
Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Feeling groggy or sleepy during the day
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restless sleep, sudden waking
Dr. Pereira will work with your general physician to conduct a diagnostic sleep study if necessary to determine if your snoring is a result of OSA. Although there are several risk factors for OSA, it is more prevalent among male patients.
Common Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being a smoker
- Having high blood pressure
- Having a large neck circumference
- Chronic nasal congestion
OSA can be a serious health issue, especially for those who have existing cardiovascular or systemic disease, such as diabetes. OSA can significantly raise the risk for stroke and heart attack if left untreated.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
The CPAP is considered the “gold standard” of treatment for OSA, but the discomfort and inconvenience associated with the machine often leads to non compliance among patients. This can lead to a resurgence of symptoms and health risks.
Dr. Pereira often recommends oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea in patients with mild to moderate OSA. Oral appliance therapy uses a comfortable, custom fit mouthguard that will reposition the jaw to avoid the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat that is characteristic of OSA.
Oral appliance therapy is usually well tolerated by most patients and offers key benefits that significantly improve compliance:
- Patients can drink fluids and speak clearly while wearing the appliance
- Portability- your appliance fits into a small plastic case for travel
- More comfortable when sleeping than the CPAP machine, allowing freedom of movement while asleep