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Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder that causes your breathing to pause or even stop intermittently throughout the night. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea. Our dentists at RJ Dental can help you access quality dental solutions for your sleeping condition.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of your throat. These muscles support the tonsils, the tongue, the sidewalls of the throat, the soft palate, and the uvula, and when they relax, they close off your airway and obstruct your breathing. This prevents your blood from getting enough air and enough oxygen. When your brain detects this oxygen insufficiency, it triggers you to wake up so your muscles can engage and re-establish an open airway. It is during this brief arousal that patients suffering from sleep apnea wake up gasping for air, choking, or snorting, a process that repeats anywhere between five and 30 times per hour, throughout the night.

Man with sleep apnea snoring while trying to sleep in bed

Effects of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea diagnosis must be made by a certified sleep specialist, typically following a sleep study or other extensive evaluation. However, there are signs and symptoms common in people who suffer from sleep apnea but have not yet been diagnosed.

Sleep apnea impedes your body's ability to reach the deep, restorative phases of sleep it needs to function properly. The quality and quantity of your sleep are important for facilitating critical biological processes like repairing muscles and organs, removing toxins from the brain, and strengthening the immune system. When these processes are either interrupted or prevented from occurring—which sleep apnea does—serious health risks and conditions can result.

Our dentists, with their extensive training of structures of the mouth, jaw, and teeth often make them the first to notice signs of sleep apnea.
During routine cleanings and checkups, dentists can quickly identify any irregularities that may indicate an increased risk of developing sleep apnea or signs that you may already be suffering from it. Redness in the throat, enlarged tonsils, a small jaw, a tongue with scalloped edges, and worn tooth surfaces from teeth grinding (bruxism) are all warning signs of sleep apnea that dentists can detect.

Diagnosis of Sleep apnea

While they can't diagnose sleep apnea, dentists can go through some screening questions to help determine if you could benefit from a sleep study or visit to a sleep specialist. Dentists also play an important role in helping to treat sleep apnea by offering options such as oral appliances. A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is the most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea, but patients suffering from the disorder can also benefit from a variety of other methods, including oral appliances.

By repositioning the tongue and the lower jaw, oral appliances help maintain an open airway while sleeping. Over-the-counter night or mouth guards can provide limited, temporary relief from sleep apnea symptoms, but custom-made appliances molded by a dental professional address the cause of sleep apnea, making them much more effective in treating the disorder.

Oral appliances - which are worn only at night - also offer a more comfortable and convenient alternative to patients who either don't wear or can't tolerate a CPAP machine. Oral appliances are portable, easy to wear, and easy to care for. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, oral appliances may be recommended either on their own or in conjunction with CPAP therapy.

Contact our RJ Dental practitioners at (551) 369-2001 to schedule an appointment.

Teaneck Location

RJ Dental
865 Teaneck Rd,
Teaneck, NJ 07666-4513
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Roselle Location

RJ Dental
121-125 Chestnut St, Ste 201,
Roselle, NJ 07203
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Sleep Apnea Treatment Teaneck NJ & Roselle NJ
Improve your sleep quality with our sleep apnea solutions. Our dentists offer custom oral appliances for a better night's rest. Call today to schedule!
RJ Dental, 865 Teaneck Rd, Teaneck, NJ 07666; (551) 369-2001;; 6/14/2024; Key Phrases: dentist Teaneck NJ & Roselle NJ;
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