Getting enough quality sleep is a vital part of living a healthy and productive life. Sleep is needed to make sure everything in your mind and body is working correctly. Not get enough quality sleep can cause many problems including:
- Weight gain
- Consuming more calories than needed
- Inability to concentrate and be productive
- Unable to get proper amount of exercise
- Greater risk of heart disease and stroke
- Greater risk of developing pre-diabetes
- Greater risk of suffering from depression
- Impairs immune function
- Greater risk of suffering from inflammation
- Reduces ability to interact normally in a social setting
- Not being alert enough to drive a car putting many people at risk
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you have concerns about the quality sleep you are getting, it may be time to seek professional help. A sleep disorder may be the cause of your issues. One of the most common types of sleep disorders includes obstructive sleep apnea, where breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Dr. William Harper is Board Certified in Dental Sleep Medicine and offers treatment to his patients from Newport News, VA. While he is unable to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Dr. Harper works with many different physicians and will help you through of the process of getting a diagnosis.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Many people are confused about why a dentist may be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of a sleep disorder. Even though it is a medical issue, Dr. Harper is well versed in spotting the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. One of the first noticeable signs include bruxism (teeth grinding) which will cause worn down or broken teeth and inflamed or receding gums. Another obvious sign is loud snoring which will cause the throat to be sore. If Dr. Harper notices any sleep apnea symptoms, he will recommend that you be evaluated by a sleep physician. Other symptoms of OSA include:
- Gasping for air during sleep
- If a sleep partner notices that you stop breathing while asleep
- Dry mouth when awakening
- Extremely tired during the day
- Irritable (more than usual)
- Headache when waking up
- Issues staying alert and paying attention
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
- Teeth grinding
- Loud snoring
Treating Sleep Apnea
After you have undergone sleep testing with your physician and been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then we can move forward with treatment. Dr. Harper will work with your physician to analyze the results of your sleep test to determine the best treatment for you. If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA, Dr. Harper will recommend oral appliance therapy to treat it.
Dr. Harper offers many different kinds of oral appliances to treat his patients from Newport News, VA who suffer from sleep apnea. He works with each patient on an individual basis to find the right appliance that will be most effective for their needs. The sleep appliance will be custom made to fit comfortably in the mouth. They should be worn while sleeping to reduce the health risks associated with sleep apnea. The sleep appliance works by moving the jaw to a forward position and this increases the size of the airway. This will reduce air resistance that leads to snoring and sleep apnea.
Schedule An Appointment
If you have been diagnosed by your physician with sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Harper at Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions to learn more about the benefits of oral appliance therapy. It is important to treat your sleep disorder because of the risk of developing larger health problems. Nightly use of an oral sleep appliance is key to reducing the health risks associated with OSA.