Sleep Apnea Treatment In Del Mar

Get a better night's sleep

Sleep Apnea Treatment In Del Mar

If you or a loved one snore heavily while sleeping, wake up gasping or choking, or are not feeling properly rested even after 7-8+ hours of sleep, these are all signs that you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, and affects millions of Americans. At Del Mar Dental Studio, Dr. Todd Pizzi can help you get the treatment you need. 

Sleep apnea dental patient

What is sleep apnea?

Understanding the basics

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues of your throat and palate sag into your airway, blocking proper respiration and breathing. For most people, these interruptions in breathing occur for between 2-10 seconds at a time, but they can be even longer. 

This may happen hundreds or even thousands of times per night, interfering with proper blood oxygenation and respiration. In the short term, this may cause issues like poor-quality sleep, daytime sleepiness, and feelings of lethargy. In the long term, these regular interruptions to proper breathing can increase your risk of a heart attack and stroke.

what to look for

The top warning signs of sleep apnea

Prolonged, heavy snoring accompanied by interruptions in breathing is the top warning sign of apnea, particularly when accompanied by choking or snorting noises. You may also wake in the middle of the night and feel like you are choking, or can’t breathe.

Your throat may also feel dry or “scratchy” upon waking, and you may notice other symptoms like morning headaches, restless sleep, forgetfulness, and mood swings. You may also have a decreased libido. If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, you may have sleep apnea, and you will need to get help from a sleep specialist.

family at the beach

what causes sleep apnea

The most common contributing factors

The largest contributing factor to sleep apnea is obesity. Obesity is associated with excess tissue in the throat, which can contribute to airway collapse and OSA. Large tonsils can also contribute to OSA, and consuming certain medications like sleeping pills or drinking alcohol before bed can contribute to sleep apnea.

Some genetic factors can also contribute to sleep apnea, such as a thick neck, a narrow airway and palate, or a major overbite. Other contributing factors include frequent nasal congestion, and smoking tobacco.

Your options

Treatment for sleep apnea

For minor-to-moderate cases of sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be a good option. Oral appliance therapy uses a device that looks similar to a mouthguard. It’s designed to shift your jaws and palate into a healthier position as you sleep, preventing the sagging of your soft tissue, and stopping OSA. 

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are another option for more severe cases of OSA. They use a face and nose mask to deliver a stream of pressurized air into your airway, which prevents soft tissue from sagging, and ensures your breathing is not interrupted. To determine the best option for you, we recommend working with a sleep specialist and an experienced dentist like Dr. Todd Pizzi at Del Mar Dental Studio. 

Am I A Good Candidate

For SLeep Apnea Treatment

When it comes to sleep apnea treatment at the dentist, you may be a good candidate if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It’s caused by the tissues of the mouth and palate sagging into the airway, which blocks proper breathing intermittently during sleep. This can be treated with oral appliances from a dentist, or with other treatments like a CPAP machine.

Another type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea (CSA). This is not caused by a physical obstruction of the airway, but because your brain isn’t sending the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing while you sleep. CSA is not treatable with solutions like oral appliances. It may require treatment with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, or other treatments to eliminate the underlying health conditions that may be causing it.

If you have OSA and are a good candidate for treatment with an oral appliance, Dr. Todd Pizzi can help you get the treatment you need at Del Mar Dental Studio. As a specialist in airway dentistry, Dr. Pizzi is an expert in treating sleep apnea. 

What are long-term dangers

Of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

In the short term, sleep apnea causes some obvious symptoms like poor quality sleep, irritability, and difficulty focusing. It could even cause potential dangers like drowsiness while driving.

But in the long term, its effects are even more significant. Since sleep apnea blocks proper respiration when you sleep, you may not get enough oxygen in your blood, which can affect your overall health. 

Severe, untreated sleep apnea can contribute to a huge variety of other health problems. These include a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke, memory problems, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, acid reflux, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

What lifestyle changes

Can Improve Sleep Apnea?

In the short term, sleep apnea causes some obvious symptoms like poor quality sleep, irritability, and difficulty focusing. It could even cause potential dangers like drowsiness while driving.

But in the long term, its effects are even more significant. Since sleep apnea blocks proper respiration when you sleep, you may not get enough oxygen in your blood, which can affect your overall health. 

Severe, untreated sleep apnea can contribute to a huge variety of other health problems. These include a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke, memory problems, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, acid reflux, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

BREATHE EASIER