Sleep plays a vital role in your physical health and mental wellbeing. If you’ve ever gone through a night of poor sleep, you understand how much quality rest affects your ability to function the next day. This is why obstructive sleep apnea—a condition characterized by repeated and frequent cessations in breathing whenever you’re asleep, causing you to awaken frequently throughout the night—can have such dangerous consequences to your physical and mental health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, these cessations in breathing make it impossible for your body to catch up on the regenerative healing that comes with deep, restful sleep. But sleep apnea does more than leave you feeling fatigued upon waking. This condition can also be the cause of loud snoring and affect everything from weight gain and mood swings to a poor immune system and the risk for high blood pressure and heart problems.
Sleep apnea is the result of an obstruction in the upper airway that prevents air from passing through the mouth and into the lungs. This obstruction is often due to soft tissue in the back of the throat or the tongue falling back into the airway while you are in a relaxed sleep state. Partial blockage of the airway causes snoring, while full blockage leads to sleep apnea. Our dentist, Dr. Jessica Gibbs, specializes in treating sleep apnea at our Glen Ellyn, IL office with custom mouthguards, oral appliances worn at night to keep the upper airway unobstructed as you sleep. Especially for patients who are CPAP intolerant, a custom mouthguard provides a minimally invasive and effective solution to treat snoring and sleep apnea. The mouthguard works by keeping the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position during sleep, so the airway remains fully open and proper breathing can occur uninterrupted.
Our patients begin to see the effects of personalized treatment with mouthguards almost immediately. With restful, deep sleep, they wake refreshed and feel energized throughout the day. Behind the scenes, restful sleep helps your body repair its muscles, build its immune system, consolidate memories, and release hormones critical for regulating appetite and growth. Sleep plays a direct role in your body’s health and how energetic and active you feel during the day. Don’t let sleep apnea harm your quality of life or your health! If a bed partner complains of your snoring, you are experiencing other symptoms, or you are already at a health risk for sleep apnea, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gibbs today.