Los Alamitos, CA Dentist Explains How a Simple Oral Appliance Can Treat Sleep Apnea

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Do you find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night? Does your bed partner tell you that you snore? Do you feel groggy and tired all day? If so, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, a frequently undiagnosed sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. Sleep apnea is linked to several serious—and potentially deadly—health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and more, but the good news is that for patients suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea, there is a simple and effective treatment option. Dr. Richard Blackburn, a dentist in Los Alamitos, CA, explains oral appliance therapy and how it can help.

What is sleep apnea?

While there are three main types of sleep apnea, one of the most common types is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when your airway becomes blocked due to an obstruction while you are sleeping, typically because your tongue and soft tissues have collapsed into the back of your throat. The condition can occur in anyone, but people with the following risk factors are more likely to suffer from it:

  • Carrying excess weight
  • Being male
  • Older age
  • Having a thicker neck
  • Use of tobacco or alcohol
  • Family history

Treating sleep apnea: Dental appliance therapy

The first step in treating sleep apnea is to obtain a diagnosis from a medical professional. The team at Volterra Dental can help you determine whether you have signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and connect you with a medical professional who can perform a sleep test to diagnose the condition and determine its severity. 

If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be a great option for you. This custom-made appliance looks similar to an orthodontic retainer and is designed to keep your lower jaw slightly forward while you sleep to prevent your airway from becoming obstructed. Oral appliances are:

  • Convenient
  • Easy to travel with
  • Discreet
  • Comfortable – no bulky face masks or loud machines
  • Non-allergenic

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, seeking a diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term health consequences associated with the condition. To schedule your consultation at Volterra Dental, call our Los Alamitos, CA office today! (562) 501-3188.

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