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What is Sleep Apnea? - West Orange, NJ

Understanding this Common Sleep Disorder

Tired and frustrated man

Does this sound familiar? You wake up in the morning after going to bed right on time for a full eight hours of rest, and you still feel like you stayed up until 2:00 in the morning. Your brain is in a fog as you get ready for the day, and maybe you’ve even ended up dozing at the wheel while on the morning commute. If these circumstances fit your personal situation, sleep apnea may be the invisible culprit.

Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder in the entire world, but it can be addressed and treated with the right therapy. At Dental Sleep Center North Jersey, Dr. Med Dawoud uses high-quality, customized oral appliances to help his patients finally overcome their exhausting symptoms and get back to living a full life. Before focusing on the solutions, though, it may help to get to the root of the problem in the first place.

Why Choose Dental Sleep Center North Jersey for Sleep Apnea Therapy?

  • High-Quality, Customized Oral Appliances
  • FREE Consultations!
  • Combined (CPAP & Oral Appliance) Therapy Available for Superior Relief

Sleep Apnea 101

Frustrated man with head in hands

Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing while unconscious for brief periods of time. While there are multiple types of sleep apnea, the most common by far is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the pauses are directly caused by a partial or full blockage of the airway.

When oxygen is cut off from the body, your brain will immediately enter an “emergency” mode and rouse you from sleep so you can adjust and start taking in air properly again. While this rude awakening is typically so quick that most patients don’t even realize it happens, their sleep cycle has still been disrupted. Without the proper amount of deep sleep, it’s very difficult to wake up and feel energized for the day ahead.

Even worse, a lack of oxygen puts an incredible amount of strain on a person’s cardiovascular system. The heart must work overtime to move oxygenated blood throughout every area of the body, and blood pressure can shoot up dramatically as a result, lingering at high levels even after normal breathing has begun once more. This is why patients with untreated sleep apnea are also more likely to experience strokes and heart attacks over time.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Tired man yawning

Sleep apnea will manifest a little differently from patient to patient, but there are a few consistent symptoms that you should be aware of:

  • Waking up with a sore throat and/or a serious headache
  • Chronic fatigue in the morning hours
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Regularly gasping for air or feeling out of breath upon waking
  • Noticeable mood swings or bouts of depression
  • Struggling to gain or lose weight
  • Erectile dysfunction

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleeping man with airway animation on profile

A wide variety of different factors can influence your likelihood for developing sleep apnea, including the following:

  • Having a wider neck or enlarged tonsils
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Heavy smoking, which can cause the airway to become narrow or swollen
  • Regularly falling asleep through the use of sedatives like alcohol
  • Having a chronic nasal blockage because of allergies or a deviated septum

How Can We Help?

Dentist crafting oral appliance

Sleep apnea is highly treatable, and Dr. Dawoud wants to help every patient in need receive the personalized attention and compassion they deserve here in West Orange. Before we can proceed with treatment, though, you’ll need an official diagnosis in-hand.

There are two ways to procure a diagnosis of sleep apnea: a sleep test at a dental laboratory, or an at-home test with special equipment. Our team is happy to offer the WatchPAT, which is a small, convenient device that the patient wears on their wrist throughout the night. It will closely monitor and record your vital signs as you rest. These results can then be forwarded to a sleep doctor for evaluation. If the findings are inconclusive, a sleep test in a professional setting may be the recommended option.

Once we know that a patient is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, it will be time to explore oral appliance therapy as a viable treatment option. You can learn more about it here!

Schedule a FREE Consultation!

Are you tired of feeling tired every single day? At Dental Sleep Center North Jersey, we’re ready and waiting to provide you with much-needed answers. You can start by taking our brief sleep quiz to assess your overall sleep apnea risk, or you can schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Dawoud. Contacting us is the best first step towards higher quality sleep!

West Orange
Caldwell
Office Hours Monday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm