If you frequently wake up during the night, or if you make gasping or choking sounds while you are sleeping, you may suffer from sleep apnea. If left untreated, this condition can lead to several serious complications.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to several serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver problems.

Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. We recommend that you talk to your dentist, as well as your doctor, if you suffer from the symptoms of this disorder. Common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Extreme drowsiness during the day
  • Personality changes and irritability
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Snoring
  • Awakening with a very dry or sore throat
  • Frequent morning headaches

Sleep apnea treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, we may recommend an oral appliance. This device works to treat obstructive sleep apnea by fitting over your teeth and keeping your airway open while you sleep. It can work by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage or by holding your jaw in a position that prevents airway blockages during sleep.

If you experience any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, we ask that you contact our office immediately. We will be happy to schedule your appointment and provide you with more information about how we can treat sleep apnea in Roanoke, Va.