Asheville area dentist describes the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
Dr. Christopher Port of the Asheville Smile Center is a quality dentist in the area who provides patients with a wide range of dental services. However, he also helps patients with other conditions including TMJ/TMD, bruxism, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a problem that exists for many Americans but most never get an appropriate diagnosis or treatment. The condition can be difficult to diagnose especially for individuals who do not have bed partners who notice the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea at night. Daytime tiredness and morning headaches, which are common symptoms, are often chalked up to stress and lack of sleep, but may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
The night-time signs of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive snoring
- Inability to breathe
- Awakening with panic
- Episodes of gasping and choking
- Night sweats
During the day, symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Difficulty getting up and going in the morning
- Sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
- Morning headaches
- Inability to concentrate
- Forgetfulness/memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Daytime tiredness
- Increased depression or anxiety
Many of these symptoms can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, and patients who are dealing with these may want to speak to a physician about undergoing a sleep study. This is when patients spend the night at a medical facility while being monitored during their sleep to determine the source of the problem. Obstructive sleep apnea can be easily diagnosed with a sleep study, and many patients will receive the most recommended treatment for sleep apnea: a CPAP machine.
A CPAP machine is worn at night to keep the airways open but many patients discontinue use because it is cumbersome and uncomfortable. Because of this, many individuals decide to not comply and deal with the symptoms of sleep apnea instead. This is a poor decision. Instead, Dr. Christopher Port recommends patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea visit the Asheville Smile Center to learn about oral appliance therapy as an alternative to CPAP usage. Oral appliance therapy can be used to dramatically improve the ability to breath with a comfortable custom-made mouth guard. It is worn at night and can help patients address their condition while being discreet and easy to use.