Sleep Dentistry in Somersworth
Bracken Godfrey, DDS, MS provides sleep dentistry in Somersworth, NH. Call 603-692-2045 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
Snoring and sleep apnea don't just interfere with getting a good night's sleep—they also have an impact on your overall health and make it difficult for you to live your life to the fullest. Oral appliance therapy, which repositions the lower jaw and tongue to keep the airway unobstructed, is an effective treatment for many patients with these sleep disorders.
Snoring occurs when the soft palate and tissues in the throat vibrate during sleep. As the airway becomes narrowed or obstructed, the snoring becomes louder, disrupting your sleep and the sleep of those around you. Patients who snore may feel tired during the day, have trouble focusing, and wake up with headaches in the morning.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing becomes shallow or stops completely while sleeping. When breathing pauses, you may wake up gasping for air, but more often than not, you are startled awake from a deep sleep but have no recollection or awareness of it. As a result, sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose.
Headaches, exhaustion despite getting 8 hours of sleep, and difficulty concentrating are all common signs of sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with a higher risk of mood disorders, high blood pressure, cardiovascular events, and other serious health conditions.
Mild sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, including weight loss and changes in sleep position, or by wearing an oral appliance to keep your airway open while you sleep.
Minor sleep disruptions can often be addressed with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, smoking cessation, or clearing your nasal passages.
Custom Sleep Appliances
Snoring and sleep apnea can both be treated with oral appliance therapy. These simple appliances change the position of the lower jaw and tongue to keep the airway unobstructed, and many patients find them to be a more comfortable solution than CPAP machines. Dr. Godfrey can create a custom-designed Mandibular Advancement Device to help you sleep better. If you snore or suspect that you have sleep apnea, ask us about oral appliance therapy during your next visit to our office. Learn More
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep.
Call 603-692-2045 to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea and Snoring
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
Pauses in breathing and loud snoring are the most obvious signs of sleep apnea, but you may not know these are occurring. Other signs include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and waking up with a dry mouth, headache, or sore throat.
How can I treat sleep apnea without a CPAP machine?
CPAP therapy isn't the only solution for sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is effective for many people with mild sleep apnea, as it repositions the lower jaw in such a way that the soft tissues are engaged, keeping them from blocking the airway.
Does snoring mean I have sleep apnea?
Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, although not everyone who snores has the condition. It's unlikely that you have sleep apnea if you don't have any of the other symptoms listed above. Oral appliance therapy has the advantage of being able to treat both snoring and sleep apnea.
What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to depression and other mood disorders, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular problems.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be caused by a variety of factors, including your weight, chronic sinus troubles, allergies, alcohol use, or even a common cold.
Call 603-692-2045 to learn more and schedule your appointment.