Sleep Apnea

When you awaken yourself at night because you’ve snored, gagged, or choked, you may have a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. But you may be able to avoid surgery and CPAP masks by visiting Dr. Mary Sue Stonisch at Faircourt Dental Smile Studio in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. If you want the easiest, least invasive treatment possible for sleep apnea, call the dedicated team at Faircourt Dental Smile Studio or book a consultation online.

Sleep Apnea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can have serious consequences. The word apnea refers to a pause in your breathing that can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes. You may have up to 30 apneas an hour during sleep. These apneas awaken you briefly and prevent your body from becoming fully rested and restored.

Most people with sleep apnea have obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by relaxed soft tissues in your mouth blocking your airway. A rare form, central sleep apnea, is caused by medications or medical conditions that interfere with your brain’s signals to your respiratory muscles.

How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

If you have sleep apnea, you may snore so loudly that you disturb your partner or even interrupt your own sleep. You might also gag, gasp, or choke, and wake yourself up. Insomnia and restless sleep are also common with sleep apnea, and you may feel excessively tired during the day or have trouble focusing.

Other symptoms include:

  • Dry or sore throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble focusing
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability

Sleep apnea that’s not treated increases your risk for motor vehicle crashes and other accidents. Extreme tiredness may detrimentally affect your performance at work or school, and long-term sleep apnea can lead to heart problems, heart failure, and stroke.

Why do I have sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is most common in men, but women and children develop it, too. Being overweight, getting older, or having large tonsils or a large tongue increases your risk for sleep apnea. Other structural problems that contribute to sleep apnea include a deviated septum or a recessed chin.

How do dentists treat sleep apnea?

Traditional medical treatments for sleep apnea include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks and surgery. At Faircourt Dental Smile Studio, Dr. Stonisch treats sleep apnea with an easier, less invasive “airway and breathing” program.

The program includes fitting you with a custom-made oral appliance that stabilizes your tongue and resolves other structural impediments to clear breathing. Dr. Stonisch teaches you how to use the device, and she makes other recommendations to improve your breathing at night.

Improve your sleep by calling the helpful staff at Faircourt Dental Smile Studio to set up a sleep apnea consultation, or book one yourself with the online form.