Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is caused by blockages in your airway while asleep. These blockages most often occur when the tongue rolls back or the tissues of the airway collapse. OSA is a common sleep disorder and is characterized by interruptions and pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses occur frequently, and individuals with sleep apnea may even cease to breathe entirely for 10 seconds or more at a time. If left untreated, OSA can contribute to a number of serious medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and liver problems.

Common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Choking or gasping sensations during sleep
  • Hypersomnia (excessive daytime drowsiness)
  • Long pauses or interruptions in breathing
  • Shortness of breath upon waking in the night
  • Headaches in the morning after waking
  • Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
  • Poor, fitful or restless sleep
  • Depression, irritability or moodiness
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping at night)

There are a number of treatments available to manage sleep apnea and help you rest better at night. Those with mild to moderate OSA may benefit from an oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy uses customized mouthpieces to keep your airways open while you sleep by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage or holding your jaw in a position that keeps the airways open. Those with more severe forms of OSA may require surgical treatment. During your initial consultation, our dentists will determine the type of sleep apnea treatment that is most appropriate for you.

For more information about sleep apnea treatment in Laurel, Montana, and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sam Pollock or Dr. Jordan Dobmeier, call Laurel Family Dental today at 406-628-6716.