As your dentist, Dr. Evans and Dr. Ziemba strive to provide the comprehensive oral care necessary to address common dental concerns and keep your smile healthy for the long term. Disease prevention and overall well being is a focus of our preventive dental care, including treatment for snoring and sleep apnea.
Sleep disorders are a growing health concern, with thousands of patients being diagnosed every year. There are a range of sleep related disorders and identifying the cause of your symptoms is important for proper treatment and understanding any associated health risks. Dr. Evans or Dr. Ziemba can work with you and your general physician to conduct a sleep study to determine if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a more serious sleep disorder that can affect your quality of life.
Are You At Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Common risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being a smoker
- Having high blood pressure
- Having a large neck circumference
- Chronic nasal congestion
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
OSA is the most dangerous form of sleep apnea and has a range of potential health risks including stroke and heart attack. Patients with OSA repeatedly stop breathing during sleep due to a collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat, effectively blocking the airway. Breathing is typically restarted with a loud gasp or snore. Although very brief, these continuous breaks in normal breathing can deprive the brain and vital organs of oxygen. In addition, normal sleep cycles are interrupted and patients often experience daytime symptoms that can affect quality of life. In addition to common risk factors, sleep apnea is diagnosed more frequently in men over 60 who are also overweight. However, OSA has been diagnosed in children, most of whom have enlarged tonsils or adenoids. The key to restoring your overall health and reducing greater health risks is early diagnosis and treatment. If you are concerned that you may suffer from a sleep disorder, discuss your concerns during your next visit to
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is often accompanied by key daytime symptoms that can be undiagnosed in many patients or passed off as side effects of lifestyle, etc. Recognizing and addressing these common signs of a sleep disorder is important for early and effective treatment.
- Feeling groggy or sleepy during the day
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restless sleep, sudden waking
Oral Appliance Therapy for OSA
Longmeadow dentists Dr. Evans and Dr. Ziemba offer convenient, comfortable treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The CPAP is still considered the “gold standard” of treatment for OSA, but many patients fail to comply due for many reasons. An alternative to the CPAP, oral appliance therapy has been proven effective and has a much higher compliance rate- the key to reducing health risks and improving sleep. Pioneer Valley Dental Arts recommends Somnodent oral appliances for patients with sleep apnea and can work with you to monitor progress and make other important lifestyle changes that can also improve symptoms. Your oral appliance is custom made and fits snugly over the teeth much like a sports mouth guard. Drinking fluids and speaking normally are possible while wearing the appliance, which is also small and convenient for travel.