Whether you’re built like a ballerina or a linebacker, you can suffer from sleep apnea. Common signs of sleep apnea are constant daytime fatigue and complaints from spouses/partners about snoring. We regularly treat sleep apnea at Whitmore Dental.
Diagnosing sleep apnea isn’t about your outward appearance. It’s about what’s on the inside—the structure of your airway.
Sleep apnea affects about 22 million Americans, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, and about 80 percent of moderate and severe sleep apnea go undiagnosed. While sleep apnea is more common among overweight people, this treatable condition affects people of all body types.
When a person suffers from sleep apnea, he or she has pauses in breathing or too-shallow breaths while sleeping —often as much as 30 times per hour. As a result, blood oxygen levels drop and frequent, unremembered awakenings occur. That’s because the airway is collapsing or partially blocked by the tongue during sleep. Contributing reasons can be having a very narrow, tall palate, having teeth out of alignment, or having a thin airway (more common in women).
Chronic sleep apnea is exhausting for individuals and their loved ones, and contributes to long-term health problems including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes.
Help for sleep apnea
At Whitmore Dental, we can evaluate the size of your airway through an exam.
We’ll examine the position of your soft palate (the top inside of your mouth), tongue, tonsils (which can become enlarged through infection), and uvula (tissue that hangs down in the back of your mouth). If your tongue is covering all or part of your uvula, your airway will be partially blocked during sleep.
If we see issues with your airway and you have other sleep apnea symptoms, we can provide you with a Take Home Sleep Study that helps to identify sleep apnea.
We offer SomnoDent® for treatment of sleep apnea. Worn at night, SomnoDent® is a mouthpiece appliance that is similar in look and feel to a mouth guard or retainer. Among patients using SomnoDent, 91 percent reported improvements in sleep quality, while 15 independent studies have confirmed the device’s benefits for treating sleep apnea and snoring.
Ready for a good night’s sleep? Contact Janet or Rachel at Whitmore Dental to arrange a consultation by calling Whitmore Dental at 877-779-4486. We are conveniently located at 5932 West Parker Road, Suite 600, Plano, TX 75093.