It might sound strange to think that a dentist can help you sleep better, but the truth is dentists know about so much more than teeth. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what sleep apnea is and how calling your dental office in Asheville could be the first step towards the restful sleep you’ve been missing out on for so long.
What is Sleep Apnea?
One of the biggest misconceptions about sleep apnea is that it’s really not a big deal. But the truth is that this disease is often referred to as the “not-so-silent killer” because of the dangers associated with its symptoms and side effects including snoring and stopping breathing sometimes up to 100 times a night.
The body reacts to the imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, waking you up (even though you’re not even aware of it) and breathing starts again with a gasp. This pattern of snoring, breathing cessation, waking, and gasping happens over and over again through the night, leaving you tired and irritable.
All of this disruption to your sleep cycle can elevate your blood pressure and place extra stress on your heart. Sometimes sleep apnea can cause you to experience poor REM sleep, or the stage of rest where your body sends healing energy to itself and your brain, stimulates tissue growth, and conducts necessary repairs.
Some of the primary causes and overall risk factors of sleep apnea can include:
- Being overweight or obesity
- Nasal congestion due to cold, sinusitis, allergies, smoking, and more
- Enlarged adenoids, tonsils, or tongue
- Throat muscles are too relaxed while you’re asleep due to alcohol, sleeping medications, or age
- Genetics or anatomic abnormalities
How Can My Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?
The side effects of sleep apnea can be serious including:
- Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
- Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs
- Loud snoring
- Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat
- Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night’s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times
We’re proud to have a highly distinguished dentist in the field of sleep medicine, right in the comfort of our Asheville dental office.
Dr. Douglas Phillips – Dr. Phillips has been helping adults throughout Western North Carolina finally experience relief from sleep apnea, working in partnership with some of the area’s leading sleep medicine physicians and primary care providers. He’s both a member and Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you or your bed partner is someone who’s been struggling with heavy snoring, it might be time to schedule a consult with Dr. Phillips. He has the training and technology to create a comfortable, custom oral appliance (a great alternative to the CPAP machine) to help reposition your lower jaw and open your airway for a more peaceful, restful night’s sleep.
If you’re tired of being tired, it’s time to schedule a sleep apnea consultation with us. While it might seem strange to talk to a dentist about how you’re sleeping, we hope you can see that we have the training, tools, and technology to help you feel better and stop snoring for good. New patients are always welcome, and we’re happy to answer any of your sleep apnea questions. Call Phillips & Schmitt DDS at 828-254-1944 today!