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A Guide to Healthier Sleep

Tired all the Time? This May be Your Answer as to Why

Do you find yourself nodding off during the day? Tired even though you got your eight hours (or more!) of sleep? Does your brain feel foggy?

It may not be your sleep. It may be … you.

You may have what’s called sleep apnea, a disorder that disrupts normal breathing patterns during sleep. And not only does it make you sleepy, but it also affects your health.

The Symptoms
According to Dr. Rich Higgs and his associates at Aquila Dental in Chandler, sleep apnea manifests through various symptoms. Loud snoring, abrupt awakenings accompanied by choking or gasping, and persistent fatigue despite a full night's sleep are common indicators. Additional signs include waking up with a sore throat, dry mouth, or headaches. Mood swings, trouble concentrating, depression, and irritability may also point to underlying sleep apnea issues.

Oral signs include redness of the throat and soft palate, teeth grinding or clenching, excessive tooth wear, the presence of tori (excessive bone development), and an enlarged tongue.

“These signs help in diagnosing sleep apnea and determining the appropriate treatment,” says Dr. Higgs, who performs sleep apnea exams and offers treatments.

What You Can Do
There are a few types of treatments for sleep apnea. One treatment that is effective for those with milder symptoms, explains Dr. Higgs, is a specially crafted oral device that aids in opening the airway, facilitating smoother breathing during sleep. Impressions are made of the mouth and teeth, creating a customized oral device. The fitting and adjustment of the device are crucial to its effectiveness, and patients are educated on the importance of consistent nightly use. Regular check-ups allow for necessary adjustments and, if required, the replacement of the device as it naturally wears or becomes damaged.

Yes, a Diagnosis and Treatment Are Important!
Who wants to be tired all the time?! Beyond sleep quality, effective treatment positively impacts daytime alertness, mood, and concentration.

“Getting diagnosed and proper treatment can elevate the quality of life for each
patient,” explains Dr. Higgs.

AquilaDental.com

"Loud snoring, abrupt awakenings accompanied by choking or gasping, and persistent fatigue despite a full night's sleep are common indicators. Additional signs include waking up with a sore throat, dry mouth, or headaches. Mood swings, trouble concentrating, depression, and irritability may also point to underlying sleep apnea issues."

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