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Sleep Apnea

Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Ryan J. Fait, DDS

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Long Beach, CA & Avalon, CA

Approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which, left untreated, can lead to serious conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke. Ryan Fait, DDS of Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry in Long Beach and Avalon, California uses his 20-year dental career experience to help sleep apnea sufferers avoid more serious health complications. Intraoral dental devices and night guards are a good way to get a more restful sleep and live a healthier life. Contact Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment, or schedule a consultation online.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing temporarily while you’re asleep. Pauses in breathing can last more than 10 seconds and happen more than five times each hour. Men and women who suffer from sleep apnea often snore, further obstructing their airway.

During the night, each time your breathing stops, oxygen levels decrease, and your brain sends a signal to wake you up so you start breathing again. Chronic sleep apnea sufferers often feel overly tired during the day because their sleep is interrupted so many times each night. Most adults are not even aware they have sleep apnea, because it happens at night, and it goes undetected during routine medical exams.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, occurs when the airway in the back of your throat gets blocked by extra tissue. Often, nighttime intraoral devices and night guards can help sleep apnea sufferers keep their airway open and get a more restful night’s sleep.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Some of the obvious indicators of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping or choking noises, and chronic daytime sleepiness. Other symptoms include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Learning or memory issues
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sore, dry throat each morning

How do intraoral devices and night guards help?

Oral appliances, as they are called, are custom-made mouthpieces that you wear at night. They are effective for adults with mild to moderate sleep apnea, and often help with snoring, too. You wear the oral device, or night guard, while you sleep, and it keeps your jaw in place to prevent airway blockage from occurring. This results in a more restful night’s sleep.

Since your night guard is custom-made for your mouth, Dr. Fait takes an impression of your teeth, so it can be reproduced in a plaster mold. Then, a device is created around the mold so that it fits perfectly in your mouth. For many chronic sleep apnea sufferers, night guards provide instant relief in a portable, easy-to-use mouthpiece.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to greater health risks, so take it seriously. Call Dr. Fait for an appointment or schedule a consultation online. He can evaluate your symptoms and determine if a custom-fitted intraoral device could help you get a better night’s sleep and avoid more serious health complications in the future.