Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth collapse and obstruct the airway. Many patients with sleep apnea are at risk of developing heart problems due to stops and starts in their breathing. Dr. Elizabeth Duling provides sleep apnea treatment to patients in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL. She works with her patients to understand the symptoms of their sleep apnea and create customized care based on the severity of their sleep apnea. Dr. Duling takes this collaborative approach to diagnose and treat all of her patients. Here you can discover more about the symptoms of and treatments for sleep apnea. We encourage patients to contact our office if they discover signs of sleep apnea in themselves or a loved one.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
It can sometimes be difficult for patients to realize they have sleep apnea because some of their symptoms occur when they are asleep. Common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty staying asleep (Insomnia)
- Breaks in breathing during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chronic morning headaches
- Loud breathing during sleep
- Mood changes
- Teeth clenching and grinding (Bruxism)
Please let our dental office know if you have noticed any of these symptoms. Then, we can help you or a loved one find the right treatment to reverse signs of sleep apnea.
Treating Sleep Apnea in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL
TMJ treatment and restorative care benefits patients who clench and grind their teeth at night due to sleep apnea. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) and sleep apnea can go hand in hand. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, wear down the tooth’s chewing surfaces. This TMJ symptom can also cause tooth pain and sensitivity. If patients have bruxism and sleep apnea, we will recommend treatments to repair the smile. Dental crowns are one of the most durable restorative options covering teeth like a cap. They blend in with the shape and shade of teeth and provide strength to worn tooth enamel.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) provides customized treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea patients. We take dental impressions that are sent to a lab to create the custom oral appliance. Like a mouthguard, an oral appliance fits on the upper and lower arches of teeth. The arches are connected by a bar that keeps the jaw in place. Wearing an oral appliance at night prevents airway obstruction for a comfortable night of sleep. Oral appliances also prevent snoring and restlessness that often accompany sleep disorders.
Request a Dental Appointment
Do you think you or a loved one may have sleep apnea? Contact our dental office today. If you are a new patient, call us at 256.202.4186. Current patients may call 256.534.1475. You may also schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Duling on our website. If you have any further questions for us, please let us know at your next dental visit. Our team is always happy to help patients get the answers they need.