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What is Sleep Apnea?

Learn about sleep apnea and how our dental team can help.

Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? If so, you’re already ahead of millions of Americans who have this potentially dangerous sleep disorder but don’t even know it. While you may turn to a sleep specialist for a diagnosis in Camarillo, CA, you may be surprised to discover that your dentist Dr. Michael McCarthy may be able to help you manage your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

Maybe you haven’t been diagnosed yet but you’re starting to have a suspicious feeling that you could be dealing with a sleep disorder. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of sleep apnea. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Sounds of gasping or choking in the middle of the night
  • Pauses in breathing while asleep
  • Extreme daytime fatigue
  • Morning headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Increased irritability and mood swings
  • Falling asleep during the day

Are you experiencing two or more of these symptoms? Are you or your partner a notoriously loud and chronic snorer? If so, you mustn’t ignore these symptoms of sleep apnea. After all, untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

How can a dentist treat sleep apnea?

Your dentist Dr. McCarthy specializes in sleep apnea dentistry in Camarillo, CA. It makes sense that a dentist, who understands the complex inner workings of the mouth and face, would also be able to provide a treatment option to prevent obstructions of the airways while you sleep. CPAP therapy is still the most common way to treat sleep apnea, but it’s not the only way. Our dental team can provide their sleep apnea patients with oral appliance therapy.

What is oral appliance therapy?

This custom-made dental device fits over your upper and lower teeth like a nightguard. The device works by either repositioning the jaws slightly forward or by suppressing the tongue to prevent airway obstructions or collapsing tissue in the back of the throat. By keeping the airways open the patient wakes up refreshed and rejuvenated after a night of sleep.

Who is oral appliance therapy right for?

Not all types and severities of sleep apnea are ideal for oral appliance therapy. This is something that you’ll need to discuss with our dental team. Oral appliance therapy is ideal for people who’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate forms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in Camarillo, CA, and want to find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you, we can provide you with the answers you need. To schedule an evaluation, call Dr. McCarthy today at (805) 482-3214.

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