Sleep Apnea Treatment in Leesburg, VA

If you always feel tired regardless of how much sleep you get, or you consistently wake up with a dry, sore throat, sleep apnea could be the cause. If you already know you have sleep apnea and you’re searching for a dentist in Leesburg who can create a custom oral appliance for you, Leesburg Family Dental can help! Get in touch with our friendly front office team today, and we’ll have a convenient appointment scheduled for you as soon as possible.

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What are the Types of Sleep Apnea?

There are three different types of sleep apnea. These types include central, obstructive, and complex sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when the central nervous system does not send the correct message to your body to start and stop breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea, a type most people are familiar with, occurs when something blocks the airway. The airway can be blocked by the tongue or collapse in the back of your throat. Complex sleep apnea is a mixture of both obstructive and central.

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax and disrupt airflow, causing breathing to stop several times every night for at least ten seconds. Sleep apnea is relatively standard, but many cases go undiagnosed, as patients assume they are just not getting enough sleep at night or they snore a lot. The only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea is to complete a sleep study, but there are a few symptoms that patients may look for, including:

  • Lack of energy or sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Frequent headaches
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Waking up gasping or choking

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What are Common Side Effects of Sleep Apnea?

Not only can sleep apnea cause daytime sleepiness and difficulty sleeping, but it can also cause several other systematic effects. A few of the side effects that sleep apnea can cause are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems.

How can my Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea dentists can treat sleep apnea by using custom night guards designed to keep the airway open throughout the night. Even when the muscles in the back of the throat relax, the oral appliance holds the lower jaw in a comfortable position that allows breathing to continue uninterrupted. Some patients ask about using nose strips to relieve their sleep apnea symptoms, but nose strips only keep the nostrils open. Sleep apnea devices are the least expensive and least invasive options that keep the airway open and prevent sleep apnea symptoms from occurring.

Is Sleep Apnea Fatal?

It is rare for sleep apnea itself to be fatal, but it can lead to other severe health conditions, like high blood pressure and heart problems. When breathing stops multiple times throughout the night, oxygen levels drop. When this happens, cortisol is released to wake the patient up just enough to resume breathing. This frequent release of stress hormones spikes the heart rate and blood pressure, putting unnecessary stress on the body and leading to future health problems.

The best thing you can do if you believe you have sleep apnea is to seek an official diagnosis and treatment. It is essential to get a diagnosis because sleep apnea has many side effects, including dental and systematic. If you are looking for a non-invasive sleep apnea dental treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office.

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