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Sleep Apnea Specialist

Cary Smiles

Rahee Shah, DMD

Family & Cosmetic Dentist & Certified Invisalign Provider located in Parkway Professional Park, Cary, NC

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects more than 20 million Americans. Without treatment, it can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and increase your risk of more serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease. At Cary Smiles, family and cosmetic dentist Jeffrey LaMura, DDS, and the team offer a more comfortable alternative to treating sleep apnea than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. To make an appointment at the practice in Cary, North Carolina, call the office, or request one online today.

Sleep Apea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious health problem that causes you to stop breathing multiple times during sleep. Sometimes, sleep apnea occurs due to relaxed tissues at the back of your throat; at other times, it’s a result of a disconnect between your brain and the muscles that control breathing.

Regardless of the type of sleep apnea you have, it’s important to seek treatment. Early intervention provides an easy way to reduce the risk of more serious health problems in the future.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Insomnia
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Irritability
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

If you have sleep apnea, you might also experience difficulty paying attention at work or school.

Who is at risk of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea affects people of all ages and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Smoking
  • Using alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers
  • Nasal congestion
  • Certain medications
  • Having a narrowed airway
  • Thick neck circumference

You’re also more likely to experience sleep apnea if you have an underlying health problem like polycystic ovary syndrome or asthma. 

When should I visit a dentist about sleep apnea?

If you regularly wake up during the night or your partner frequently complains that you snore, make an appointment at Cary Smiles. 

Following an assessment of your teeth, jaw, and bite, a discussion of your symptoms, and a series of digital X-rays, your Cary Smiles provider can make recommendations for treatment.

How is sleep apnea treated?

At Cary Smiles, the team offers a noninvasive alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. If you have mild or moderate sleep apnea, your provider might recommend a custom-fitted dental appliance. 

Dental appliances that treat sleep apnea push your lower jaw slightly forward, allowing for better airflow. The mouthpiece looks similar to a nightguard and fits snugly over your teeth. You put it in each night before going to sleep and remove it when you wake up in the morning.

Once you receive a custom oral appliance, it’s important to visit Cary Smiles for routine checkups. At each visit, your provider assesses your bite and makes adjustments as necessary.

To learn more about treating sleep apnea, make an appointment at Cary Smiles by calling the office or requesting one online today.