Sleep Apnea & Snoring Appliances in Amherst, NH
Are you unknowingly suffering from sleep apnea? If you are like many of our Amherst, NH dental patients, you may be struggling but completely unaware of your condition.
Sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing briefly throughout the night as they sleep. When their oxygen levels drop in the body, they wake up. This can occur hundreds of times during a single night and will most likely not even be remembered.
Sleep apnea can be a very frustrating condition to live with, especially because you may not even know you have it. In the sections of our website below, we will talk more in-depth about sleep apnea to help give you a better idea of what the condition looks like and how it can sometimes be treated.
If you do indeed suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea in Amherst, NH, the good news is that our dental office can help! Dr. Edwards is thoroughly trained in treating sleep apnea, and he can meet with you for an initial dental appointment to evaluate your symptoms and help you decide on a healthy course of treatment. To learn more, contact our Amherst sleep apnea dentist at (603) 673-0782!
- How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?
- How is sleep apnea treated?
- Can I also get relief from my snoring?
- How are sleep apnea and my dental health related?
How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can have many different symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Loud snoring, especially when lying on your back
- Fatigue during the day
- Morning headaches
- Waking from sleep with a snort or a choking sound, gasping for breath
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause many health problems, including a greater risk of stroke and heart problems, memory loss, depression, and decreased sex drive. If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, or your partner has noticed that you stop breathing while you sleep, visit your doctor. Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a doctor by performing an overnight sleep study.
Once your sleep apnea in Amherst, NH has been officially diagnosed, Dr. Edwards and our dental team can then work with you to discuss treatment options. If you have already taken the first step toward treatment by having your sleep apnea diagnosed, you are ready to meet with our dental office. Call us today to schedule your appointment!
How is sleep apnea treated?
The primary treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP. Many people experience significant improvement with the CPAP, but it is not always an option. Some people find wearing the required face mask uncomfortable or claustrophobic. Others complain of the noise associated with CPAP or feel as though they are suffocating due to the forced air pressure.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea but find using a CPAP uncomfortable, our Amherst, NH dental office offers an alternative: oral appliance therapy. There are a variety of appliances available to treat sleep apnea, either as a replacement for or in conjunction with CPAP therapy.
The two main appliance types are tongue-retaining appliances and mandibular-positioning appliances. Tongue-retaining appliances hold your tongue forward using light suction. This prevents your tongue from closing off your airway, allowing you to breathe. The mandibular-positioning appliances hold your jaw in a forward position, which indirectly holds the tongue forward and stabilizes your jaw.
Both appliances can successfully treat sleep apnea. The appliance that is a better fit for you will depend on your personal preferences as well as your budget. Dr. Edwards can review the appliances we offer and recommend the one that will work for your situation. There are several styles and variations, and we can find the one that is right for you!
To learn more about the oral appliance therapy options we offer at Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, D.D.S., please call our Amherst, NH dental practice at (603) 673-0782 to speak with a member of our front-office dental team.
Can I also get relief from my snoring?
Sometimes, our Amherst dental patients come to us because they struggle with snoring and are embarrassed about the condition.
It is possible to snore while you sleep without actually having sleep apnea. Luckily, our oral appliance therapy devices are not just for sleep apnea patients. They can also help reduce snoring, which allows you and those around you to get a restful night's sleep.
While our oral appliances may cost more than a drug-store alternative, the payoff is well worth the investment. The oral appliances offered by Amherst dentist Dr. Edwards are customized especially for you. These custom appliances are more comfortable and more effective than “over the counter” remedies. When you purchase an oral appliance through our dental office, you can rest assured that you are receiving a product that is tailored to your mouth and that will provide the best benefit for you personally.
If you (or your loved ones) suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, contact us today to schedule a dental appointment and find out how we can help!
How are sleep apnea and my dental health related?
Even though sleep apnea must be formally diagnosed by a medical doctor, many dentists often catch signs of sleep apnea before anyone else is aware.
Your oral health and your overall general health are very intertwined, which means conditions that affect the rest of your body can also affect your teeth, and vice versa. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, your mouth might be filled with some of the earliest signs of the condition.
When Dr. Edwards examines your mouth during your dental appointments every six months, he is looking for any signs of damage, decay, or irregularities. Often, damage to your teeth with no other obvious explanation such as trauma or neglect can mean that something else is going on.
One of the very first dental signs of sleep apnea is teeth grinding, or bruxism. If you have sleep apnea, you are likely grinding your teeth during the night without even realizing it. Dr. Edwards will look for worn-down tooth surfaces as well as inflamed gums.
Another common sign of sleep apnea our Amherst, NH dental office will look for is an unexplained increase in cavities. If nothing else in your routine or lifestyle has changed but you suddenly have multiple cavities, Dr. Edwards will need to examine this further. The force of tooth grinding will damage your teeth and make them more cavity-prone.
Dr. Edwards may also be able to spot sleep apnea if your throat is unusually red. Unless you are sick with a cold or a condition such as strep throat, your throat should not appear inflamed or overly red in color. If you snore frequently as a result of sleep apnea in Amherst, NH, your throat will show signs.
A thorough dental examination at our Amherst dental office can help rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. To make a dental appointment with Dr. Edwards, please call us today!
Getting the Help You Need
Sleep apnea can be a huge inconvenience for both you and your partner. When you are unable to sleep well, the effects trickle into other aspects of your life.
If you suffer from sleep apnea in Amherst, NH, we want to do everything we can to help improve your quality of life. Our oral appliances may be able to help you sleep more soundly and reduce the effects of sleep apnea in your life. To learn more about our treatment options for sleep apnea in Amherst, we encourage you to contact us today!