Sleep Apnea Specialist

Lori Ann Safar, DDS -  - General & Cosmetic Dentist

Celebrity Smile | Lori Ann Safar, DDS

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Torrey Hills, CA

A poor night’s sleep can impact your whole day, making it feel impossible to get through a day of work without a nap. While one bad night’s sleep is nothing to worry about, Lori Safar, DDS, at Celebrity Smile in Torrey Hills, California, can help if this becomes a chronic condition, such as sleep apnea. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more about how Dr. Safar can help treat the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a dangerous condition in which you stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night.

These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to several minutes and often occur up to 30 times in a single hour.

What causes sleep apnea?

There are three different types of sleep apnea to consider:

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea typically occurs when the soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse during the night, causing a blockage. It’s most common in males over the age of 40.

Central sleep apnea

Less common than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the right signals to the muscles involved in breathing during sleep. This condition is most commonly seen in patients suffering from neuromuscular disorders, heart disorders, a brain tumor, or a stroke.

Complex sleep apnea

Complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of the previous two sleep disorders.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gasping for breath at night
  • Morning headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea in the morning

Even if you don’t think you have any of the above sleep apnea warning signs, Dr. Safar may be able to tell that you suffer from the condition by checking to see if you have receding gums, worn tooth surfaces, or a sudden spike in cavities.

How can my dentist help?

Once you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are a number of treatments that Dr. Safar may recommend, including:

Mandibular advancement device (MAD)

A MAD device is much like a nighttime mouth guard in that it snaps over the upper and lower dental arches to correct your dental issue. Metal hinges connected to the guard actually push your jaw forward to stop your tissues from collapsing into the back of your throat.

Tongue retaining device

A tongue retaining device looks similar to a MAD device, but instead of pushing the jaw forward, it holds your tongue in place to keep your airways open and clear throughout the night.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)

A CPAP device is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea because it ensures that you never stop breathing. The CPAP machine comes with a mask that fits over your nose and blows air into your mouth continuously throughout the night. While being hooked up to a machine may sound unpleasant, the CPAP device is actually quite lightweight and relatively quiet.

Call Celebrity Smile today or book an appointment online to learn more.