Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in America, and many people do not even realize that they suffer from this condition. It’s estimated that nearly 18 million people suffer from apnea and that about 80% of cases have not been professionally diagnosed. Since one of the most prominent symptoms of sleep apnea is heavy snoring, it is often mistaken for this simple issue. If you recognize these symptoms, Dr. Mistry can screen for sleep apnea and treat the cause of your issue to help you get a restful night’s sleep and avoid more serious issues caused by the condition.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. The condition occurs when the soft tissues of your palate and throat relax during sleep and block the airway, preventing breathing for 10 seconds or longer. Sleep apnea should not be confused with snoring. Though heavy snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, the presence of snoring alone is not enough to diagnose the condition.
Essentially, apnea causes the same physiological effects that accompany panic, but it often goes unnoticed because it occurs while you are sleeping. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
As a dentist, Dr. Mistry is in a unique position to screen for obstructive sleep apnea. During exams, he can check for enlarged tonsils and an enlarged tongue, and ask questions about sleeping patterns and habits to help determine whether it is likely that you suffer from sleep apnea. After having a conversation about your symptoms, Dr. Mistry may refer you to your primary care physician or an accredited sleep center for an official diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with OSA, Dr. Mistry can create a custom night guard and suggest lifestyle changes that will help you get a restful night’s sleep.
Minor cases of obstructive sleep apnea can often be resolved with healthy lifestyle adjustments. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are another common treatment option. These machines use a steady stream of air to keep the tissues of your mouth and throat from relaxing during sleep.
If you don’t want to wear a mask connected to a CPAP machine, another option is an oral appliance or night guard. Similar to a retainer or mouthguard, oral appliances shift the position of your jaw to prevent the tissue in your mouth and throat from sagging.
Yes! Snoring is caused by turbulent air flowing through your airway, mouth, and nose. In turn, this may cause your oral tissues to vibrate, which leads to snoring. While snoring is not the same as sleep apnea, it is often a symptom.
If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, treatment with a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) helps keep your airway open throughout the whole night and minimizes these vibrations. If your apnea is treated with an oral appliance, this can also help with snoring. Oral appliances, which look like a mouthguard, are built to shift your jaw into a more healthy position during sleep. This prevents the soft tissues in your palate from collapsing, which helps treat sleep apnea and snoring. Heavy, regular snoring with intermittent stops and starts is a common sign of sleep apnea. Proper treatment can allow you to get relief and a good night’s sleep.
At Brightside Family Dentistry, Dr. Mistry is uniquely qualified to help patients who have sleep apnea. He completed a sleep medicine residency and offers specialized care when it comes to this common condition.
Whether you are interested in using a CPAP machine to treat your apnea, or you would like to explore other options like an oral appliance, surgery to treat apnea, or even lifestyle changes like weight loss and diet & exercise to help reduce the severity of your apnea, Dr. Mistry is here to help. If you believe you may have sleep apnea in Chapel Hill, we’re here to help. Get in touch for a consultation right away, and let Dr. Mistry help you get the treatment you need to get a restful night of sleep.
"I highly recommend Dr. Mistry! He is very thorough and knowledgeable! I recently had a root canal and was nervous about the procedure but Dr. Mistry did an excellent job! He took the time to make sure there was no pain and the healing process went smoothly. He also explained each part of the procedure in a way I was able to fully understand."
"Dr. Mistry was AWESOME. Usually, I am nervous about going to the dentist but he explained the procedure so that I could understand. I left there pain free. My sister Wendy Jarrell referred me and I am grateful.
On behalf of the Jarrell family... We thank you."
"Dr. Mistry did a wonderful job on my teeth, particularly the work he did on a bridge on the left side. I would highly recommend him to anyone for your dental needs!"
"We have your entire well-being in mind, not just your teeth."
– Dr. Mistry