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Sleep Apnea Treatments in Cheshire, CT

If you are suffering from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, contact our office in Cheshire, CT at 203-977-9705 today!

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder, and recent studies show that sleep apnea is a leading cause of hypertension and heart disease. Sleep apnea is caused when the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep, interrupting your sleep and depriving your body of much-needed oxygen.

When sleep apnea occurs, you can be awakened up to hundreds of times during the night. Each time you are awakened, your sleep is disrupted and fragmented, which can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning. 

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive
  • Central
  • Mixed 

The most common type is OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA occurs when the airway is blocked either partially or entirely during sleep. As a result, the diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder as the pressure increases to open the airway during an episode. As a result, breathing resumes with a loud gasp or body jerk and is likely to wake you up. 

Sleep apnea occurs in about 25% of men and about 10% of women. Obstructive sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including children and babies. However, OSA is most common among those over the age of forty and those who are overweight. OSA is not always recognized by the patient but is found by their bed partner. 

The Most Common Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Severe, loud snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
  • Sudden waking with gasping or a choking sensation 
  • Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening 
  • Night sweats
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Intellectual impairment such as troubles concentrating, forgetfulness, or irritability 


Other Risk Factors Besides Age and Obesity

  • A large neck circumference 
  • Large nostrils
  • Large tongue
  • A small jaw bone
  • Other nasal or sinus problems

If sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are left untreated, they can result in several health problems. If you or a loved one suffers from sleep problems associated with sleep apnea, our dentist, Dr. Kurtz, can help. 

Effects of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Many health factors can occur when sleep apnea goes untreated. 

  • Daytime fatigue can make work more difficult or even dangerous. For those that work with heavy machinery, this is a huge risk factor. 
  • Heart problems and high blood pressure will affect every organ in the body and strain the heart. 
  • Decreased liver function 
  • Higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Connections to Oral Health

A good night’s sleep not only has health benefits for your overall health but also lowers the risk of bad breath, mouth ulcers, and periodontal disease. There are a few dental problems that are associated with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. 

 TMJ

The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw and upper jaw. Studies have shown that sleep apnea patients are more likely to develop TMJ disorders regardless of their age, sex, weight, or history of smoking.

Bruxism

Bruxism is a fancy term for grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw and mainly occurs during sleep. Bruxism is considered a sleep disorder on its own because it disrupts sleep and causes an uncontrolled and involuntary movement of the jaws. 

Even though you may not know that you have bruxism, our dentist will be able to identify your teeth symptoms related to bruxism. She will also ask if you have any other related symptoms such as headaches, pain in your neck, jaw, or face and if you have dryness in your lips, tongue, or throat upon awakening. 

Mouth Breathing

Sleep apnea will cause a person to sleep with their mouth open. When your mouth breathes while sleeping, it can lead to tooth decay, plaque build-up, gingivitis, and even periodontal disease. 

How Can Dr. Kurtz Help you with Obstructive Sleep Apnea? 

Dentists are your first line of defense against sleep problems or if you have a sleep disorder. Dr. Kurtz wants to ensure your dental health and make sure you have good health overall, too. If our dentist suspects bruxism, she can design a mouthguard specialized for sleep to help protect your teeth while you sleep. This device will also help keep the upper airway open while you sleep. 

Benefits of Oral Appliance Treatment

  • Can improve symptoms of OSA, including daytime fatigue and irritability
  • Offers another option for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP
  • Easier to take while traveling
  • Does not need electricity to work 

Schedule an Appointment Today

Dr. Kurtz and our team in Cheshire promise always to provide high-quality care and personalized attention to every patient that visits us. So if you or a loved one is suffering from sleep problems, including OSA, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kurtz as soon as possible.

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