If you or someone you know snores, you might not think of visiting the dentist for treatment. Dentistry isn’t limited to the cleaning and care of teeth. Dr. John Cranham offers comprehensive services to correct problems like snoring and sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
There is no single cause for snoring or sleep apnea. Often times snoring is made worse by drinking, smoking or using sedatives. Patients who are overweight are also more likely to snore or suffer from sleep apnea. The prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age and it is estimated that as many as 50% of elderly men and women suffer from the disorder. Untreated sleep apnea in adults could lead to an increased risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure due to drops in the blood oxygen level, type 2 diabetes, and strokes. If left untreated, the higher risk of developing larger health problems can make existing medical conditions harder to manage.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity
Treating Sleep Disorders With Dentistry
Dental sleep medicine focuses on the treatment of breathing related sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy.
Dr. John C. Cranham uses oral appliance therapy as the first line treatment for patients who snore or have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Studies show that patients who have been successfully treated for sleep apnea with both the CPAP and a oral appliance preferred the oral appliance as their long term option.
What is an Oral Appliance and how does it work?
An oral appliance is a customized, removable device, designed to keep the airways open while the patient sleeps, preventing snoring and sleep apnea. More commonly called a snore guard, an oral appliance is similar to a sports mouth guard and helps to keep the jaws in proper alignment and the tongue and soft tissue in their proper place to prevent them from blocking the airway.
About Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Chesapeake, VA
Even though snoring is characterized on TV and in movies as being hilarious, in reality it is a potentially serious health condition. Both the snorer and their partner have a diminished quality of sleep. In addition, studies have linked snoring to major health problems including sleep apnea.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that causes the person to stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep. This blockage of the airway is typically caused when the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses. OSA is strongly linked to obesity, as well as, tobacco and alcohol use.
Schedule a Consultation
Don’t you and your partner deserve a good night’s sleep? If you or someone you love snores, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Cranham for a consultation and find out if a snore guard is right for you. He treats patients with sleep apnea in the Norfolk, VA and Chesapeake, VA areas.
Call our Chesapeake Dentist Office at 757-656-4109 or schedule your next appointment online.