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Sleep Apnea Therapy – State College, PA

Reducing Snoring & Improving Quality of Sleep

Does your loved one snore loudly and continually? Snoring that occurs even occasionally can be an indication of something more serious. In fact, a snoring bed partner isn’t just keeping you from a restful night of sleep. They could be experiencing sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that needs the attention of a sleep medicine professional, offering sleep apnea therapy in State College.

What is sleep apnea?

Frustrated man with head in hands before sleep apnea therapy

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for up to ten seconds at a time. These abnormal pauses in breather can occur as many as 5-30 times an hour throughout the night. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by low muscle tone and soft tissue around the airway, sometimes the result of excess weight and sometimes simply the result of genetics. If the airway becomes blocked at night by soft tissues, snoring can occur, as well as other symptoms of sleep apnea.

If you wake up multiple times during the night, gasp for air, toss and turn, snore, and don’t feel rested although you’ve been in bed for a full eight hours, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. As with any sleep related disorder, sleep apnea causes significant and very serious daytime symptoms as well. Daytime drowsiness, headaches, irritability, poor memory function, confusions, moodiness and personality changes, and sexual dysfunction can all signify sleep apnea.

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Complications of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that carries with the risk for severe complications, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Memory Loss
  • Sudden and premature death
  • Higher susceptibility to accidents

In addition, here are some risk factors for sleep apnea:

  • Advanced age
  • Obesity or weight gain
  • Being male
  • A narrowed airway
  • Use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking
  • Nasal congestion
  • Family history
  • Certain physical attributes such as large neck circumference

Why Choose Dr. Donald Marks for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

Thanks to Dr. Mark’s unique competency in dental sleep medicine and knowledge in alternative sleep apnea therapy treatments, he’s been honored as the 11th dentist in Pennsylvania to receive diplomate status from The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM.) This board is the leading national organization for dentists who treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) specifically with oral appliance therapy. Adults and children alike can largely benefit from this unique and proven approach to treating common symptoms of this chronic and potentially debilitating condition.

Sleep Apnea Therapy in State College

Did you know that you can receive sleep apnea therapy from your State College family dentist? Dr. Marks offers sleep apnea therapy that’s comfortable and that provides relief from snoring so you can get the rest you need. A simple oral appliance positions the bottom jaw forward, opening the airway and repositioning the tongue. Not only will you feel rested and rejuvenated in the morning, your loved one will too!

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Can I Diagnose Sleep Apnea on My Own?

You may have some symptoms of sleep apnea, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from the condition. An official diagnosis is needed before you are able to receive treatment. Apple Watches and other tech may be able to suggest that you have sleep apnea, but they don’t comprehensively test for it. A sleep test is needed to diagnose sleep apnea. If you are interested in being tested for sleep apnea, let your dentist know.

Will My Sleep Apnea Go Away If I Lose Weight?

This is possible. Being overweight is a major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. This is because excess weight and tissue can block the airway. By losing weight, you can reduce this tissue. However, there is still a chance that you could continue to have sleep apnea even after losing excess weight. You would need to complete another sleep test to determine if you still have the condition.

How Should I Clean My Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?

It is important that you keep your oral appliance clean to avoid the development of cavities, gum disease, and other dangerous infections. In the morning, right after you take out your oral appliance, you should gently brush it and risk it off. You should always keep it in a case when you aren’t using it. Denture cleanser can also be used to keep your oral appliances extra fresh.

Can I Have Oral Appliance Therapy If I Grind My Teeth?

Yes! Oral appliances are designed to endure the force of teeth grinding, so you don’t have anything to worry about. In fact, oral appliances can help to prevent tooth damage from teeth grinding. Sleep apnea and bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) often go hand in hand.

Are There At-Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea?

There are some products that may help you to relax more when it is time for bed, like essential oils and weighted blankets. Not looking at your phone before bed and being physically active during the day can also help you fall asleep. However, the truth is that your oral appliance will have a much greater impact on the quality of your sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you need to address the actual problem by opening your airway during the night.

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