Is your snoring affecting your overall health?
Most people don’t think about visiting the dentist to cure snoring, but Jacksonville dentist Dr. Donald Alexander offers comfortable, convenient treatment options to alleviate the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring is a very common sleep habit affecting millions of Americans each night. In many cases, it is simply the result of a short illness or congestion, an awkward sleeping position or simply how you breathe while at rest. However, there are a growing number of people who unknowingly suffer with a sleep disorder of which snoring is a symptom that is affecting the quality of their sleep and their daily life. Patients with sleep disorders often wake up feeling tired and groggy even after being “asleep” for 8 hours.
Dr. Alexander practices dental sleep medicine to offer treatment for those suffering from sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He has both experience and training in the diagnosis and treatment of OSA, a sleep disorder that can ultimately be life threatening if left untreated.
OSA can affect anyone, but is most prevalent among men, smokers, people who are overweight, and those who have smaller airways and/or a large neck circumference. Patients with OSA briefly stop breathing during their sleep and then abruptly resume breathing with a loud snore, often waking either themselves, their partner- or both!
Even if they do not wake during the night due to their snoring, patients awaken in the morning feeling unrested and groggy. They may suffer additional symptoms throughout the day such as:
- Daytime fatigue
- Irritability and trouble concentrating
- Dry mouth in the morning
OSA threatens overall health and can be the cause of or worsen certain health conditions: high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, heart disease, depression and cognitive impairment. OSA raises the risk of cardiac arrest in those with heart disease and can also be the cause of sudden death.
Dr. Alexander is among the few dentists in the Jacksonville area with the advanced training and experience to diagnose and treat sleep apnea conditions as well as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
Millions of Americans snore. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can prevent or lessen snoring. These remedies include sleeping on your side instead of on your back, avoiding alcohol and sedatives at bedtime, and maintaining a healthy weight.
For others, snoring is an indication of a more serious problem called Sleep Apnea. Those who suffer with sleep apnea actually stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep because of a blockage in the airway. Generally, the blockage is caused by a collapse of the soft tissue in the back of the mouth or throat.
Dr. Alexander treats these patients using oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance, known as a snore guard, is custom made to be comfortable and discreet. The purpose of the snore guard is to keep the airway open by repositioning the jaw and tongue, preventing a collapse from occurring.
Snore Guard vs. CPAP
Dr. Alexander treats OSA and snoring with oral appliance therapy, an alternative to the CPAP. Considered the “gold standard” of treatment for OSA, the CPAP often fails patients due to a lack of consistent compliance. Many fail to use it due to lack of comfort or personal embarrassment. On the other hand, a dental appliance is easy to wear, quiet and portable.
Patients who have tried both treatments usually say that the snore guard is more comfortable and therefore they are more likely to use it every night. After all, if you don’t use it, it can’t help. Oral appliance therapy has proven to relieve symptoms and reduce health risks because patients find it more comfortable and will use the appliance each night.
Dr. Alexander will custom fit an oral appliance designed to stabilize the lower jaw and tongue, effectively maintaining an open airway for steady breathing and no snoring!
Schedule a Dental Exam & Consultation
If snoring or sleep apnea is affecting you or your partner, Dr. Alexander is experienced in treating snoring and sleep apnea and may be able to help. Call 904.901.4302 or request an appointment online.