Sweet Dreams

Dental Device Can Help Those 
Suffering from Sleep Apnea

Everyone knows a good night’s sleep is important to your overall health, but sometimes it can be hard to come by. One reason a person may not be sleeping well at night could be due to sleep apnea — a disorder where a person’s breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep. An estimated 30 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, according to the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine.

The good news is scientific research is bringing new advancements to help those suffering from sleep apnea. One of these is a dental appliance that can help correct breathing when sleeping, currently being offered at Marconi Dental Group in Sacramento.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh — who owns Marconi Dental Group with his wife Dr. Maryam Saleh — sleep apnea occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat, stopping airflow. “People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times,” he explains. “This means the brain and the circulatory system may not get enough oxygen. This can lead to comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression.”

The most common signs and 
symptoms that you might be suffering from sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
  • Awakening with a dry mouth 
or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness 
  • Attention problems
  • Irritability

Sleep Apnea Solution

One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which uses a machine that forces air through the nasal passages while you sleep. However, many people find this treatment uncomfortable and may stop using it, which can be dangerous to their health.

Dr. Alizadeh offers a different solution in the form of a dental device that moves the lower jaw forward, helping to prevent the sleeper’s tongue from falling backward and blocking the airway. Each sleep apnea device is custom-made for each patient and Dr. Alizadeh says most PPO plans that they work with cover the cost of the therapy.

Dr. Alizadeh says he has had several patients that have struggled with sleep apnea and using CPAP for many years, and since switching to the dental device have nothing but positive things to say about it. “They feel refreshed when they wake up in the morning and they did it without a loud machine right next to their beds,” he says. “We have many satisfied patients and that is what makes this all very rewarding for us to offer as an extra service for our patients.”

For more information about the sleep apnea device and to schedule an appointment, call 916.589.6476 or visit MarconiDentalGroup.com.