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Learn About Dentistry from The Heart


Leesburg Dental

Is Sleep Apnea Keeping You Up at Night?

Do people complain about your snoring? Are you excessively sleepy during the day? Do you sometimes awake with a dry mouth, sore throat or headache? These are all signs of sleep apnea!

Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. When left untreated, people with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping. This may happen hundreds of times every night. The result is the brain—and the rest of the body—may not be getting enough oxygen.

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. There are several risk factors for sleep apnea.
These include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a several serious health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
  • Diabetes• Depression

Sleep apnea is also linked to poor performance at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea: We Can Help!

There are special devices available that are designed to prevent sleep apnea. Similar to customized athletic mouth guards, these devices are made-to-order for your mouth. They fit comfortably snug over your top and bottom teeth and prevent the jaw and tongue from dropping back into the throat and restricting air passage. This helps keep your airway open and greatly reduces snoring.

We can custom fit a device designed specifically for you. It may even be covered by your insurance. Call our office for more information. We think you and your loved ones deserve a good night’s sleep!