Do you ever feel like your breathing is the reason why you can’t get a full night’s rest? Maybe excessive snoring wakes you and your partner, or you wake up periodically gasping for air.

If so, sleep apnea might be the cause of your restless nights.

Although it’s a condition that often goes undiagnosed, an estimated 18 million adults suffer from sleep apnea.

At Houston Uptown Dentists, we understand that quality sleep is key to your overall health. Read on for more information about this condition. Then, if you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, give our Houston, TX office a call at 832-463-1021. We’ll help you get an accurate diagnosis and find a solution to help you get a better night’s sleep!

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and involves periodic partial or complete blockages of the airway during sleep.

As a result, those with obstructive sleep apnea can experience shallow breathing throughout the night, or even have episodes where they stop breathing. This can happen dozens or even hundreds of times a night. Sometimes these episodes result in excessive snoring or gasping for air.

As you might imagine, this can take a toll on the quality of sleep you receive. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea experience excessive sleepiness during the day, perhaps dozing off while they drive or watch TV.

Here are some common warning signs of obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
  • Headaches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Restless sleep
  • Snoring, particularly that wakes you or your partner
  • Waking up and feeling like you’re gasping for air or choking

Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition, which means it’s ongoing or long-lasting. Untreated, it can lead to increased risk for other health conditions, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Those include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats
  • Work-related or driving accidents

That’s why it’s important to properly diagnose and address sleep apnea if you suspect it’s a problem.

At Houston Uptown Dentists, getting an accurate diagnosis can be done without stepping foot in a sleep lab for testing! We offer a convenient take-home sleep test system called ARES™, or the Apnea Risk Evaluation System. You’ll be able to complete your sleep testing in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Once you’ve completed the tests, we’ll provide the ARES data to a sleep physician, who will issue an official diagnosis and recommend customized treatments.

How Do You Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Traditionally, the most common form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea has been a CPAP machine. A CPAP — or continuous positive airway pressure — machine has a mask, which you wear over your mouth or nose (or both, in some cases). It pushes air into your airway to prevent blockages.

CPAP machines have a reputation for being loud and unwieldy, but today’s models are smaller and quieter than ever.

We also offer custom-made oral appliances as a treatment for sleep apnea. People often find these dental devices are a more comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine. The appliance resembles a mouthguard that you insert right before bed. It shifts the position of your jaw and helps open up the airway for a better night’s rest.

If you’re looking for a treatment option that will allow you to sleep without the help of a device, you might want to consider NightLase®. NightLase is a non-invasive treatment used for sleep apnea and excessive snoring. It involves the use of a laser to tighten the tissue in the back of your throat, preventing airway obstruction.

It’s important to note that these treatments are most effective when paired with lifestyle changes. Sleep apnea often occurs in individuals who are overweight, according to Harvard Health. For those people, doctors say weight loss — even just 10 percent of your body weight — can significantly relieve sleep apnea symptoms. Significant weight loss can even cure the condition altogether.

Your Journey To More Restful Sleep Starts At Houston Uptown Dentists

If you’re ready to get back to the high-quality sleep you once experienced, Houston Uptown Dentists is a great place to start. Dr. Juarez has been treating sleep apnea since her husband was diagnosed with it, and since then, she has undergone extensive training.

Dr. Juarez also founded Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions and has become Board-eligible for the American Sleep and Breathing Academy.

At Houston Uptown Dentists, we understand the importance of high-quality sleep, and we want to help you achieve it. Give us a call today at 832-463-1021, or use our online form to schedule an appointment.