No doubt a good night’s sleep is essential to your health and lifestyle. What happens when sleep is producing a risk to your health?

Interruptions to your normal, healthy sleep cycles require attention. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects over 18 million people and you could be among them if certain issues are occurring during a routine period of sleep.

Know your risks

Sleep apnea is about more than your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. The bigger risk involves your breathing during sleep cycles.

The core problem of sleep apnea involves your breathing patterns throughout your sleep routine. Interrupted breathing disrupts your deep sleep cycles and places a strain on not only your required rest but also your health.

Risk to your overall health can result from sleep apnea. These conditions can include high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.

What you don’t want to happen during sleep

It’s healthy to routinely fall asleep each night and stay asleep. The lowering of your energy levels allows your mind and body to receive proper rest and renewal.

Healthy sleep cycles accomplish this. Your throat and its connected muscles require relaxation too but this comes with an occasional downside.

Snoring is the common result when your throat muscles relax. Air passes over them as you breathe and the recognizable sound is produced.

There’s a greater concern. Your airway can become obstructed and air is not allowed to pass through as you sleep.

This prompts a gasping or choking reflex. When this occurs you will naturally awaken briefly before returning to sleep.

That momentary lapse in breathing is sleep apnea. It can occur many times throughout your sleep cycle causing you to feel unrested and fatigued during awake hours.

A solution to healthier and restful sleep

Sleep apnea is most often treated with a CPAP device. This treatment is known to be effective but can be cumbersome to many.

Sleep dentistry provides a solution without the use of CPAP equipment. A custom-designed oral appliance can be worn while you sleep to open your airway and reduce the snoring reflex.

The device advances your lower jaw and moves the tongue off the back of the throat. This increases airflow and improves your natural breathing technique.

The appliance is comfortable to wear and is custom-fitted to your bite and jaw alignment. You will breathe more effectively, reduce the health risks associated with lack of proper breathing, and experience a more restful, quiet sleep.

Contact our Washington, DC or McLean dental office about your sleep related issues. Schedule an appointment to discuss sleep apnea and how sleep dentistry can reduce your health risks and improve your sleep.