A night of deep, restorative sleep is within reach

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder, often accompanied by snoring, which can disrupt your sleep. This disorder causes the soft tissue in the back of the mouth to partially or fully cover the airway throughout the night. Breathing is paused or becomes shallow, which shifts you out of deep sleep and into a light, less restful sleep. While this condition affects many people, it can be detrimental to rest levels and should be taken seriously.

Dr. Hall works with patients who are experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. She may notice the signs of a possible sleep-related problem during your routine dental exam and recommend a sleep study with a qualified physician. Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea and other sleep-disordered breathing problems is important for your overall health and wellness.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Recognizing the signs of a sleep disorder and seeking treatment is the key to resolving issues and improving your quality of life. Common signs of sleep apnea can include:

  • Loud snoring or gasping for air when sleeping
  • Feeling sleepy or foggy during the day despite a "full night's sleep"
  • Changes in your daily mood, increasing agitation
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks

While many of these symptoms can also be caused by other medical problems, it is important to seek the advice of a professional to determine the cause.

Treating sleep apnea: oral appliance therapy

The CPAP is still considered the "gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea and is necessary for those with severe symptoms. However, for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or anyone that is intolerant of the CPAP, oral appliance therapy can be the perfect solution. Dr. Hall works with patients who need a sleep appliance to find the best option and to monitor their symptoms over time.

Fortunately, with a variety of sleep apnea oral appliances on the market, sleepless nights no longer have to be an issue. Williamsburg Center for Dental Health currently offers the SomnoDent® MAS, a custom-made device consisting of upper and lower dental plates with a unique patented fin-coupling component that allows for normal mouth function. This comfortable, easy-to-use device is similar to an athletic mouth guard, and is designed to hold your lower jaw forward while you sleep. This tightens the muscles of the upper airway to allow easier breathing. The device is also very discreet and allows you to close your lips around it naturally. No clunky, uncomfortable devices or noisy machines--the SomnoDent® MAS is the barely-there mouthpiece that can finally get you back to sleeping without disruptions.

If breathing disruptions are affecting the quality of your sleep, schedule an appointment with us today to talk about whether your snoring could be indicative of sleep apnea. We can help you find a simple solution and get you back to a good night's sleep in no time.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

What foods cause sleep apnea?

Foods that cause sleep apnea include carbohydrates, dairy, alcohol, and surprisingly bananas. All of these foods contain nutrients that increase your body's mucus production. This increases your risk for blockages in your airways, causing more apneas.

What is the best position to sleep with sleep apnea?

If you have sleep apnea it is best to sleep on your right side to promote blood flow. Sleeping on your side also opens airways encouraging airflow.

Does eating before bed make sleep apnea worse?

Eating large meals right before bed should be avoided if a patient has sleep apnea. Lots of food before bed can put excess pressure on your diaphragm, which will in turn negatively affect breathing. Patients with sleep apnea should try to have their last meal be at least 2 hours before they go to bed.

What puts a patient at risk for sleep apnea?

Patients may be at an increased risk for sleep apnea if they are overweight, older, or male. Sleep apnea is more common in men than women. It is also more commonly seen in patients who are older and overweight.