Sleep ApneaAn Overview
Treating Sleep Disorders Through Dentistry
Dentistry is not just limited to the cleaning and care of teeth. Dr. Raj Upadya practices what is known as “complete dentistry”, considering the patient as a whole to treat underlying problems and conditions associated with the mouth, teeth, and TMJ. Dr. Upadya has advanced training in treating diagnosed sleep disorders. If necessary, Dr. Upadya works with your physician to coordinate a diagnostic sleep study for sleep apnea.
While snoring alone is not a major medical concern, it may be an indication of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring occurs when the soft tissue structures of the upper airway collapse and vibrate during sleep, producing the sound known as snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common of the sleep-related breathing disorder. Patients who suffer from OSA stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, caused by a blockage of the airway usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the mouth collapses. OSA is strongly linked to obesity.
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, pregnant, and use drugs 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.
Sleep Apnea What to Expect
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It may be difficult to diagnose a sleep related breathing disorder like OSA. It may involve your general physician as well as Dr. Upadya. He may use diagnostic imaging such as x-rays to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. It may also be recommended that you participate in a sleep study to evaluate your quality of sleep. Dr. Upadya will evaluate your entire medical history to see if there are any indicators of a sleep breathing disorder. There are common signs of sleep apnea and you should inform Dr. Upadya if you suffer from any of them.
- 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
Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are a wide variety of treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Upadya focuses on oral appliance therapy which includes customized splints, mouth guards and night guards designed to keep the airways open during sleep. The fit comfortably in the mouth and should not interrupt sleep. They work by keeping the airway open to prevent snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms. Most patients will use their oral appliance nightly, the key to reducing the health risks associated with sleep apnea.
How Does an Oral Appliance work?
- Repositions the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate or uvula
- Stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue
- Increases the muscle tone of the tongue
Schedule a Consultation
Learn more about Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment available at Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry. Our office is conveniently located in the East Hanover, NJ and Summit, NJ area. Dr. Raj Upadya gladly welcomes new patients and out of town patients.