Tag Archives: sleep apnea dentist

My wife things I have sleep apnea.

Yes, I snore. Does that mean I have sleep apnea? My wife keeps accusing me of it.

– Paul in Texas

Paul,

Did you know that 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders, like sleep apnea? Snoring can be an indicator that you may have sleep apnea and serious sleep apnea can actually be life threatening. So it’s worth your while to find out if you do.¬† Individuals with sleep apnea stop breathing for a short duration while they are sleeping. Since your body is in such a relaxed state during sleep, the muscles are also relaxed, including your throat and tongue. In this state, the tongue can impinge on your breathing passageway and disturb your breathing. You may have not idea and often times it is a spouse that discovers this.

Here are some common symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking suddenly for no reason
  • Gasping for breath or a choking feeling
  • Waking multiple times
  • Feeling sleepy during the day
  • Dry mouth

A sleep study is required in order to properly diagnose this condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Then once it has been diagnosed, you can seek treatment with a sleep clinic or a dentist can treat you. Treatments are wide-ranging, but going the dentist route would allow you to treat your sleep apnea without surgery with an appliance worn during the night. These oral appliances reposition the jaw into a more favorable position to keep the breathing passage open.

Physicians often prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device (CPAP) machine. Many patients aren’t happy with having to wear the respiratory¬† device that blows compressed air. But it is important to explore your options to find a solution that is right for you.

Again, your wife is right to worry. Sleep apnea that is left untreated leads to increased risk in stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and other serious conditions.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

If I have sleep apnea can I fly with my CPAP?

I have to take a business trip which isn’t out of the ordinary. But since my last trip, I have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The doctor has issued me a CPAP machine and I just can’t figure out how I will carry this thing on board. I want to have it with me. Do you have any advice because I don’t want to be heard snoring like crazy and I refuse to check it.

– Will in Maryland

Will,

You are allowed to travel with your CPAP machine even though it feels like a major inconvenience. As a carry-on item it will need to be screened and checked by the airport security. One thing to consider is to bring sanitizing wipes along with you because the screening area at the airport is likely unsanitary.

The main thing you need to consider because you have obstructive sleep apnea is that there is a power outlet available near your seat. Also, make sure you travel with the correct adapter. If possible, make these arrangements ahead of time by contacting your airline. This will save you time and frustration the day of your flight. With heightened security, you may also have difficulty carrying on distilled water for the machine. So you would be wise to travel with the prescription from your physician. This way you will be able to travel with distilled water in a pharmaceutical grade bottle.

If your travel picks up again and you want to alleviate lugging around the bulky, loud CPAP, talk to your doctor or visit a dentist that is experienced in treating sleep apnea. A dentist may be able to fit you for an oral appliance which you simply pop into your mouth before you fall asleep. It is customized to fit your mouth and moves your jaw into a more favorable position. This appliance keeps your airway unobstructed during sleep. This will save you a lot of hassle and will eliminate the need for the CPAP for travel and in many cases, patients prefer the oral appliance and stop using the CPAP altogether.

But if you are uncomfortable leaving the CPAP behind, be sure to plan ahead to avoid any complications.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Dr. Steve Bader at Ultimate Aesthetics.