About 54 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you have a chronic snoring problem, always feel sleepy, wake up with headaches, or have other symptoms of poor sleep, it’s important to find out if you’re dealing with obstructive sleep apnea or another airway issue. At his practice in San Jose, California, Rodney Park, DDS, offers sleep dentistry to screen patients for OSA and other oral health conditions that affect sleep. Dr. Park specializes in one-on-one care, and patients love his warm and friendly approach and how he treats them as ohana (family). To learn more, book an appointment by calling the office.
Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a dangerous condition in which you stop breathing many times during the night. If you have this condition, your throat and mouth muscles relax completely while you sleep.
This causes your soft tissues to block your windpipe and stops your breathing. The oxygen interruption startles you awake briefly, but you generally slip back into sleep without waking up fully. This breathing interruption can happen as many as 400 times every night.
If obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated, you’re at risk for other serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Snoring is the most common sign of obstructive sleep apnea, but there are a number of other possible symptoms, including:
About 25% of obstructive sleep apnea sufferers also grind their teeth at night, a condition called bruxism.
Dental sleep medicine is a part of the dentistry field that concentrates on snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The Rodney K. Park, DDS, team can screen you for obstructive sleep apnea through a combination of an exam, possible take-home screening device, and a discussion of your symptoms.
If you appear to have obstructive sleep apnea, you receive a referral to a medical doctor who can make the diagnosis. Your dentist and the physician can then collaborate on your sleep apnea treatment.
It depends on the situation. For example, if you have sleep apnea but do not require CPAP, per your doctor’s recommendation, or can’t tolerate it, Rodney K. Park, DDS, can fit you with an oral appliance.
The team provides custom-made oral appliances that you wear while you sleep. These appliances fit in your mouth, much like a retainer does. Your oral appliance holds your jaw in a slightly forward position to keep your airway open while you sleep, thus preventing sleep apnea symptoms and giving you restful sleep.
Sleep dentistry also treats bruxism. If you grind your teeth during sleep, it can cause cracking, worn-down teeth, and other serious oral problems. A night guard can prevent teeth grinding while you sleep.
You can also get a night guard for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). TMJ night guards work by gently repositioning your jaw.
Learn more about sleep dentistry solutions by reaching out to Rodney K. Park, DDS by phone today.