Trouble Breathing at Night? You May Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a very common and potentially serious sleep disorder. An estimated 22 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Common symptoms include snoring loudly or feeling fatigued in the morning. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to memory loss and serious heart-related health problems. If you live in or around Amity, AR, Dr. Chester Clark can determine if you have this serious sleeping disorder.

Dr. Clark has practiced dentistry since 1977 and is known for both his compassion and expert dental care. He is an active member at his church and a strong supporter of the charity Ryanʼs Call Foundation.

Obstructed vs. unobstructed airways during sleep
In the most common form of sleep apnea, soft tissues relax and inadvertently block off the airway. 

Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

During your visit to our Amity dental office, Dr. Clark will ask if you have any of the common symptoms of sleep apnea. Many individuals do not realize that they snore loudly at night. Your sleeping partner may be of help in determining if you:

  • Snore loudly and repeatedly 
  • Frequently stop breathing
  • Gasp for air

Not every symptom is restricted to when you are asleep, however. You may notice other problems, such as:

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime irritability

Obstructive sleep apnea results when the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax, closing up the airway and cutting off your airflow. Known risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive weight
  • Narrow airway
  • Having a large neck
  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Advanced age
  • Gender (men are two to three times as likely to have sleep apnea)

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Among the best known treatments available for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP is a medical machine that delivers continuous positive air pressure to help patients sleep through the night without interrupted breathing. The device is attached to the face via a mask. While CPAP is a useful tool for treating sleep apnea symptoms, some patients find that the device is cumbersome, uncomfortable to wear, and difficult to transport.

Sleep apnea is both a health problem and a quality of life issue.

If you have a less severe case or if CPAP is difficult for you to wear, Dr. Clark offers his Amity patients a more convenient alternative known as an oral appliance. The customized device repositions the jawbone to allow continuous breathing throughout the night. A study by the European Respiratory Journal found that oral appliances are an effective treatment for treating sleep apnea. Our customized oral appliance repositions your jawbones to allow for continuous breathing at night.

Oral appliances are:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Fully customized to meet your needs
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Easy to transport

Do Not Delay. Treat Your Symptoms Today

Sleep apnea is both a health problem and a quality of life issue. The sleeping disorder can also drain the quality of sleep for your partner. Once Dr. Clark has treated your sleep apnea symptoms using an oral appliance, you can enjoy a more restful sleep and more productive days. Amity Gentle Dental accepts CareCredit® financing to help patients afford treatment. To schedule your consultation for a custom oral appliance, contact our office online or call (870) 342-5265.

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