Sleep Apnea Treatment in Mendham
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea results when the throat muscles that support the soft palate relax while a person is asleep. This obstructs the airway, restricting the amount of oxygen you receive \while sleeping.
Obstructive sleep apnea is deemed a serious medical condition. It has been linked to other chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea also increases your risk of stroke and an irregular heartbeat.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder, with the American Medical Association reporting that roughly 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from the condition. Unfortunately, only about 6 million have been diagnosed with the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Many people do not know that they have sleep apnea until someone else reports their signs of the condition, which include:
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Long pauses between breaths
- Loud snoring
However, some patients begin to suspect that they have obstructive sleep apnea due to the following warning symptoms:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Frequent tossing and turning while sleeping
- Headaches upon waking up
- Dry or sore throat
- Memory or cognitive problems
- Choking while sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
If you are told that you are exhibiting these symptoms or you suspect that you have obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is typically treated by a dentist rather than a physician. This is because the best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is often an oral appliance that you wear while you sleep. Your dentist will have a custom appliance made for you that will adjust the position of your lower jaw and tongue to minimize airway obstruction.
Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that offers an alternative to noisy, bulky, and often uncomfortable CPAP machines.
Why Choose Dentistry of Mendham?
Dr. Rajan belongs to an elite class of dentists who have earned a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. To earn this Fellowship, Dr. Rajan pursued more than 1,000 hours of continuing dental education and passed a rigorous exam.
Dr. Rajan is also a frequent speaker and lecturer in addition to his practice at the Dentistry of Mendham. His expertise has earned him prestigious roles in the dental industry, including serving as Assistant Director of Digital Dentistry at the Touro College for Dental Medicine. He also serves as a Key Opinion Leader for multiple dental companies, including 3Shape, Henry Schein and Straumann.
He has repeatedly been named a Top Dentist in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly. Dr. Rajan is also a contributing writer for leading industry publications, including Dentistry Today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
Will insurance cover an oral appliance for sleep apnea?
Your dental insurance may not cover your oral appliance, but it’s likely that your medical insurance will offer some coverage for an oral appliance. Contact your insurance carrier to learn about your coverage limits.
Does an oral appliance for sleep apnea hurt?
No. The appliance doesn’t hurt. It can take some time to get used to sleeping with the appliance, so it may feel strange initially, but it will not be painful.
Does a doctor or dentist diagnose sleep apnea?
Dentists often recognize signs of sleep apnea first. This is because sleep apnea is often linked to teeth grinding (bruxism). The enamel on your teeth may also show signs of erosion from snoring or mouth breathing when you sleep. If your dentist suspects sleep apnea, they may recommend you see your doctor or a sleep specialist to confirm your diagnosis.