Sleep Apnea Specialist

IPI of Torrance

Dental Implants & Periodontal Plastic Surgery located in Torrance, CA

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your sleep is regularly disturbed by interruptions in your breathing. Sleep apnea can have dire health consequences, including an increased risk of hypertension and mood problems, but the expert dentists at IPI of Torrance, located in Torrance, California, can help. They offer mouthguards to help reduce snoring and the breath interruptions that characterize sleep apnea. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

IPI of Torrance

What is sleep apnea?

Apnea is a breathing pause that lasts at least 10 seconds. It occurs when you relax the muscles at the back of your throat as you sleep.

For some people, these relaxed muscles actually close off the airway. When your brain senses the lack of oxygen, you awaken — many times without even knowing it. But, the repeated awakenings interrupt your natural sleep cycle.

The combination of disturbed sleep and lack of oxygen puts you at risk for chronic conditions, including heart disease, sexual dysfunction, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most notable symptom of sleep apnea is heavy snoring. Other symptoms include:

  • Cases of your breathing stopping when you sleep, often reported by your partner
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Attention and concentration problems
  • Morning headaches
  • Sleepiness when driving or sitting in meetings

Not everyone with sleep apnea snores and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. But, if you suspect your snoring is associated with sleep apnea, schedule an evaluation at IPI of Torrance.

What causes sleep apnea?

People who are overweight or have thicker necks often have obstructions in their airways that interrupt breathing while sleeping. Other risk factors include:

  • Being older and male
  • A family history of sleep apnea
  • Smoking or use of alcohol and sedatives
  • Nasal congestion due to allergies or a deviated septum

If you have excessive snoring, sleep disruptions, and any of these risk factors, it’s a real possibility that you suffer from sleep apnea.

How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

In many cases, sleep apnea may require the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. You attach yourself to the machine, which pumps air into your airway to keep it open as you sleep. Many people find CPAP machines bulky and loud and by default don’t use them because they’re not convenient.

Sleep dentistry, on the other hand, uses mouthguards that have the advantages of being smaller, less intrusive, and portable to treat sleep apnea. These appliances open your throat by bringing your jaw forward and preventing it from closing.

Different types of devices and mouthguards can be prescribed by the doctors at IPI of Torrance. They can help you find the right fit and customize the devices to you so they’re as effective and comfortable as possible.

To learn whether your sleep apnea may be treated with a dental mouthguard, call IPI of Torrance or book an appointment online today.