Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Dentist in Diamond Bar, CA


Sleep Apnea

At Furumoto Dentistry we are proud to offer services extending beyond cleaning and straightening your teeth. If you are suffering from excessive snoring or sleep apnea, we may have an alternative to loud and cumbersome sleep apnea devices! We provide an array of mouthguards to help with sleep apnea and snoring.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a common form of sleep disorder characterized by a sudden and involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs when a patient is asleep, sometimes occurring as often as one hundred times a night. This results in both the body and brain not getting the oxygen necessary to function. Though these cycles can repeat for up to a minute at a time, the patient often does not fully awaken with each one and therefore may not know why they are so tired the next day. If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious ramifications upon one's health including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.

Sleep Apnea presents itself in one of three ways:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea - The most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when airflow is blocked during sleep. This is often the result of soft tissue at the back of the throat collapsing while asleep.
  • Central Sleep Apnea - With this form of sleep apnea, the throat is not blocked, but instead the brain fails to properly signal the muscles in the throat when to breathe. Central sleep apnea is commonly associated with heart failure, brain tumors, and infections, as well as strokes.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome - This syndrome occurs when a patient has been diagnosed with a combination of both obstructive as well as central sleep apnea and is also known as treatment-emergent sleep apnea. People with this form of sleep apnea suffer from extremely fragmented sleep cycles of poor quality.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

We often dismiss snoring as a minor concern or a natural part of life, but it can be a symptom of something far more serious. If your snoring is overly loud or frequent, it is possible it is a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you often find yourself gasping or choking at night as a result of your snoring or experience excessive restlessness, then your snoring is more than a mild inconvenience and you should consult a doctor.
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How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea?

There are many risk factors at play that can lead to sleep apnea. On their own, they may not mean you are suffering from one of the three sleep apnea types, but they can be indicators you and your doctor can use to determine the cause of your exhaustion.

Risk Factors Include:

  • Gender - Men are two to three times as likely to present with symptoms of sleep apnea than women.
  • Age - Sleep apnea occurs more often in people as they age.
  • Weight - Obesity increases your chances of contracting sleep apnea as excessive fat deposits around your neck may obstruct your breathing.
  • Neck Circumference - People with thicker necks (17 inches or greater for men, 16 inches or greater for women) may have narrower airways that lead to sleep apnea.
  • Genetics - Sleep apnea may run in families so if more than one person in your family has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your chances increase.
  • Lifestyle - People who smoke are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea over non-smokers while people who drink alcohol or use tranquilizers may relax the muscles in their throat which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Nasal Congestion - If you struggle to breathe through your nose while sleeping, whether from allergies or anatomical problems, you are more likely to develop sleep apnea.

If you are suffering from one or more of these risk factors, and are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, you should consult a doctor.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty getting a full night's sleep

How can my Dentist Help?

While only a medical doctor can diagnose sleep apnea, if your sleep apnea dentist recognizes the risk factors and symptoms, we can recommend a sleep study for you and help start your treatment. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, there are steps we can take to alleviate your suffering. In some mild and moderate cases, this device may even be sufficient enough to successfully prevent sleep apnea.

An over-the-counter night guard may help with mild cases of sleep apnea, but it might not be enough or may even make a problem worse.

Here at Furumoto Dentistry, we can help you by fitting you with a custom-made guard which can shift and support the jaw, preventing the airway from closing and keeping your throat open and clear. These oral devices reduce snoring and assist in clearing up your sleep apnea, as well as grinding of teeth which can lead to cavities, headaches, and jaw pain.