Category Archives: Sleep Apnea

Pregnancy Induced Sleep Apnea

I’m 28 weeks pregnant, and often times when I sleep I get a shortness of breath which wakes me suddenly gasping for air. I’ve never had a problem like this before. It sounds like the symptoms of sleep apnea. Can I get pregnancy induced sleep apnea?

Melissa A. – Utah

Melissa, 

You are right in your idea of what sleep apnea is. It is a sleeping disorder, where there are pauses in your breathing. Instead of breathing in and out normally, you will spontaneously stop breathing and start back up again.

This can happen several times during the night. The incidence of sleep apnea in women of childbearing age is somewhere between one to ten percent. Lots of people may have sleep apnea without even knowing it. Women in particular, are more likely to develop sleep apnea during pregnancy and after menopause. Shortness of breath, along with restless sleep are very common in pregnancy, and alone aren’t indicative of sleep apnea.

It is actually quite rare in an otherwise healthy woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy. It is more common in women with high blood pressure, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. However, do keep in mind that during pregnancy, the physical changes you experience may contribute to the development of sleep apnea. Also, pregnancy hormones can congest the mucous membranes of the upper airway; that congestion can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea.

It’s advisable to keep your weight gain within the recommended limits (not easy in pregnancy, I know), and talk to your doctor about any symptoms you are having. They can do further testing, such as a sleep study, which is the best way of getting an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

 

 

Why do I snore?

I went to an overnight party and my friends all said I snored. It was really embarassing. Why do I snore? Can I stop it?

Mandy – Denver

Mandy,

I’m sorry your felt embarassed. You should know a lot of people snore, so you are definitely not alone.

You can also know that snoring is generally a sign you have sleep apnea. That’s when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, which causes vibration. That vibration is the sound of your snoring.

If your mom takes you to the dentist. He or she can give you a mandibular device. That’s just a fancy word for a mouthpiece you can wear while you sleep. It will keep you from snoring.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Does sleep apnea make you tired?

I’ve been tired a lot lately.  I wake up tired, even when I sleep a full night.  My doctor has checked my thyroid, my blood pressure, my vitamin D levels. Nothing has panned out.  A friend said it could be sleep apnea.  Can that make you tired? If it is sleep apnea, will I have to wear one of those Darth Vader masks?

Andrea M. – San Diego

Andrea,

Your friend could be right.  When you have sleep apnea, you actually wake up many times a night without realizing it because you stop breathing.  Not only is it disruptive to your rest, but it is also dangerous.

If you see a dentist who treats sleep apnea they can help you.  The solution may be as simple as wearing an oral appliance (which resembles a sports mouthguard). There are many things your dentist can use to solve your sleep apnea problem without forcing you to use a CPAP (the Darth Vader machine).

This blog is brought to you by Newton MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Don’t want a CPAP

I’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea. My dentist expects me to wear a CPAP machine.  I’m still young and such a contraption is very unattractive, especially since I am a woman.  Isn’t there some other treatment for sleep apnea?

Virginia S. – Long Island, NY

Virginia,

I understand the desire to be attractive. That being said, breathing is quite important as well. I would venture to say more important that attractiveness.  Before you get too frustrated with my response, I will tell you that there is another alternative.

Sleep apnea can also be treated with a mandibular advancement appliance.  It is similar in structure and appearance to a mouthguard, which you will find much more discrete than a CPAP.

The effectiveness of either treatment, really depends on each individual case.  You can try the mandibular device and see how it works for you.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Does a snoring device just mask sleep apnea symptoms?

I believe my husband has sleep apnea. He thinks the problem is just snoring. I’d like him to see a dentist to get treated. He thinks all he needs to do is get a noring device. I’m afraid that will just mask the problem.  What should he do?

Reina H. – New Mexico

Reina,

Honestly, either scenario could be right. For mild to moderate sleep apnea an anti-snoring device will be just fine.  But, if he has a more severe case of sleep apnea, then he’ll likely need a breathing machine.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition.  Getting treatment is important.He may be waking up regularly  because he’s not breathing. Some patients don’t even realize that it is happening.

This can lead to daytime sleepiness as well as many other, more serious, health conditions.

The sooner he gets treatment, the quicker his symptoms will fade, and you’ll both feel more rested. If he’s already got an appointment scheduled with the dentist soon, it’s probably ok for him to speak to the doctor about it then. However, if he’s booked more than a couple weeks out, it’s worth checking to see if he can be seen sooner.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Is a snoring device enough for sleep apnea?

I think I may have sleep apnea.  My husband says I’m snoring a lot and I always wake up tired. If I get a dental snoring device, will that be enough or do I have to sleep with a machine?

Annika W. – New York

Annika,

It does sound like you could be suffering from sleep apnea. That can be a serious condition that needs treatment. Which treatment you need honestly depends on the severity of your sleep apnea.

Your dentist can perform tests to determine whether you just need an oral appliance or a CPAP machine.  The key is to get with a dentist.  Sometimes your insurance will cover a sleep study.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Don’t want to snore in front of my boyfriend

My boyfriend and I are going on our first over night trip.  It will also be the first time we’ve spent the night together. Here’s the thing…I am a horrible snorer.  I really like this guy and don’t want to scare him away too quickly.  Is there anything I can do about the snoring?

Sally B. – New Orleans

Sally,

It’s likely the cause of your snoring is sleep apnea.  It has to do with the muscles in the back of your throat.  You’re probably tired all the time too, even after a full night’s sleep.

A dentist with experience diagnosing and treating sleep apnea can make you a custom fitted orthotic. Don’t worry–it’s discreet. This will stop your snoring.  I don’t know how soon your trip is, but if you get in right away and tell your dentist when you’re leaving, he or she may be able to rush the process for you.

You’ll probably find you have more energy with the device too.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

 

Flying with a CPAP

I have to fly. It’s an all night flight and I have a meeting the following morning. I’ll need sleep, which means I’ll need my cpap. How in the world will I work that out on a plane?

Rob T. – Atlanta

Rob,

It can be difficult to travel with a CPAP machine, but not impossible. First, I want to ask if you’ve tried an oral appliance. They’re much easier to travel with and are just as effective in treating sleep apnea as what you’re currently using.

However, if you want to stick with your CPAP, I’ll give you some pointers.

  • You’ll need to check it as a carry on.
  • Bring sanitary wipes, because those security bins are pretty disgusting and it will get contaminated.
  • Get your doctor to write you a prescription for the distilled water. It’s the only way you’ll be able to get the amount of water you need past security.
  • Arrange with the airline to have your seat near an outlet.

If you do all that, you should be able to manage this travel.

Good luck on your meeting.  This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

I hate my CPAP

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was given a cpap machine. Outside of sounding like Darth Vader, I cannot sleep with this machine on my face. Please tell me there is an alternative????!

Mark A. – Little Rock, AR

Mark,

Lucky for you there is. Sleep apnea is treatable and there are several types of treatments available.  Dr. Bader prefers to start with the most conservative treatment available.

Most people prefer a mandibular advancement appliance to a CPAP machine. Talk to your dentist and see if that gives you the help you need. If not, there are other treatments available as well. But, it’s always best to start with the most simple and least invasive.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

If my husband doesn’t stop snoring, I may kill him.

I don’t know what to do. I can’t get another sleepless night. I’ve heard dental problems can cause snoring. Is there anything that can be done to stop it?

Elle M. – Connecticut

Elle,

It’s likely your husband has sleep apnea. The snoring is caused by the way the muscles in his throat relax when he’s asleep. When the airway is partially blocked, it leads to snoring, when it is completely blocked it is sleep apnea.

Sometimes your medical insurance will pay for at least a portion of a sleep study so you can find out what is going on with him.  If it is sleep apnea it can be treated. It’s important to note that this is something that does require treatment. It can negatively impact his health, sometimes with serious consequences.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.