Despite the significant negative impact that sleep apnea can have on your health, many patients don’t even know they suffer from the condition. Of those who have sleep apnea, many don’t get the treatment they need because they fear masks and hoses might interfere with their rest, make it difficult to travel, or disrupt the sleep of their loved ones. Dr. Elvie Nathanson at Gentle Care Family Dentistry provides custom-made oral appliances to treat sleep apnea without masks or hoses. For compassionate treatment in the Chula Vista, California, area, contact Gentle Care Family Dentistry today.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which excess tissue in the throat and neck result in airway obstruction during sleep. People with sleep apnea often stop breathing for a few seconds many times per night, starving the brain of oxygen and causing severe risks and bothersome symptoms during the day.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

If you’re experiencing some or all of the following signs and symptoms, you might have sleep apnea:

• Your sleep partner has told you that you snore loudly, gasp in your sleep, or occasionally stop breathing

• You wake up with headaches or develop a headache soon after waking

• You have difficulty concentrating or remembering important information

• You experience mood swings

• You wake up with an excessively dry mouth or even a sore throat

What causes sleep apnea?

In the vast majority of cases, sleep apnea is obstructive, which means it results from excess soft tissue in the throat and mouth. People who are overweight or obese are at highest risk of developing sleep apnea because of the excess fatty tissue surrounding the airway.

In very few cases, sleep apnea is related to problems with the central nervous system.

Should I see a doctor or a dentist for sleep apnea?

Doctors and dentists work together to treat sleep apnea. In most cases, doctors diagnose sleep apnea, then refers the patient to a dentist, who can make the custom appliance necessary for improving their breathing at night.

While dentists can create the appliance, your general practitioner should evaluate your health for possible risks or complications of sleep apnea.

Why is treatment important?

Untreated sleep apnea can cause life-threatening health problems. If you believe you may have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

What are the benefits of an oral appliance?

Dr. Nathanson creates custom oral appliances designed to keep your airway open while you sleep, eliminating the symptoms and serious risks associated with sleep apnea.

Oral appliances post many benefits over traditional treatment for sleep apnea (continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP). They’re more comfortable and easier to wear; easier to take with you when traveling; easier to care for; and they ensure sound sleep for your partner.