Proper Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Give You a More Restful Nights’ Sleep

Dr. Steven M. Balloch offers sleep apnea treatment at his Hartford, CT, dental practice for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This form of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat intermittently block the airway while you sleep. This can result in poor sleep quality, low energy, and increased stress. Dr. Balloch offers effective treatment that can help you experience improved sleep and increased energy. 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the three types. The primary difference between each type of sleep apnea is the cause. All three result in involuntary pauses in breathing, hundreds of times throughout the night. While OSA is a result of collapsed soft tissues in the back of the throat and mouth, central sleep apnea is caused by the brain failing to signal the appropriate muscles to breathe. As the name suggests, complex—or mixed—sleep apnea is a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

What Are the Causes of OSA?

Blocked airways during sleep is the primary cause of OSA, but there are a number of factors that put you at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea. While OSA can affect both children and adults, it is most common in men over the age of 40. Being overweight or obese is another risk factor. Using alcohol, tobacco, or sedatives can also cause sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Woman stuffing pillow over her ears to muffle husband's sleep apnea snoring.If you suffer from sleep apnea, your partner, or even another family member or roommate has likely made comments about your loud snoring. While snoring is the most common sign, there are other symptoms that may indicate you have sleep apnea, including:

  • Restless and interrupted sleep
  • Frequent headaches when waking
  • Dry mouth or throat in the morning
  • Fatigue and irritability due to lack of proper rest
  • Forgetfulness

Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Left untreated, sleep apnea will continue to result in poor sleep quality. This can cause insomnia and can also make you fall asleep throughout the day, even in dangerous situations such as driving. Untreated sleep apnea can also eventually lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic headaches, memory problems, and more.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dr. Balloch offers a simple and comfortable treatment for sleep apnea. In some cases, you may need to undergo a sleep study to confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis. Dr. Balloch can typically diagnose sleep apnea through a conversation about your sleep and snoring habits and by examining your soft palate and uvula at the back of the throat.

A custom-made oral appliance will fit comfortably over your teeth, similar to a retainer or sports guard, and will hold your lower jaw in a forward position.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Balloch will recommend an oral appliance as the first line of treatment. This custom-made appliance will fit comfortably over your teeth, similar to a retainer or sports guard. The primary difference is this appliance will hold your lower jaw in a forward position. This keeps your airway open throughout the night so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

Can I Benefit from Treatment?

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Balloch. He can conduct an examination and determine if you would benefit from a custom oral appliance, for a better nights' sleep.