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Sleep Apnea Specialist

Advanced Care Dentistry

Cosmetic, General & Specialty Dentistry located in Woodinville, WA

A good dentist can do more than just keep your teeth and gums healthy – they can also ensure that you get a good night’s rest, too. Thomas O. Marxen, DDS, MSD, and his team of dedicated professionals at Advanced Care Dentistry provide sleep apnea treatments for patients in Woodinville, Washington. Get on track for a good night’s rest and schedule your appointment today by phone or book online.

Sleep Apnea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a harmful condition wherein you stop breathing for extended periods throughout the night. These episodes of breathlessness can occur up to hundreds of times a night and can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

During these periods of breathlessness, your body is deprived of essential oxygen, which can cause significant damage to your overall health.

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea happens when the soft tissues in the back of your mouth or throat relax to the point of obstructing your airway. This inhibits the free flow of oxygen and leads to a variety of problems. 

There are certain risk factors making you more likely to have an obstructed airway, like:

  • Being overweight
  • A thick neck
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Enlarged tongue or constricted palate
  • Using alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose

You’re also more likely to develop sleep apnea if you’re male, older, and have a family history of the condition.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most obvious signs of sleep apnea (snoring and interrupted breathing) happen when you’re asleep, which can make them difficult to identify. In many cases, it’s a person’s sleep partner who first identifies their sleep apnea.

There are some additional symptoms you might notice if you experience sleep apnea, like:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Dry mouth when you wake up
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Difficulty staying asleep

If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, you should schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist for an official diagnosis. They’ll administer a sleep study and monitor your breathing to determine whether you need treatment.

What are the dangers of sleep apnea?

Left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly impact your overall health, with such complications as:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Liver damage

Sleep apnea also prevents you and your sleep partner from getting a good night’s rest, which can leave you both irritable and unable to concentrate throughout the day.

How do you treat sleep apnea?

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the team at Advanced Care Dentistry can help by making you an oral appliance, also called a mandibular advancement device.

We’ve recently seen tremendous patient success with the Avant device made by Somnomed. It’s the first milled appliance and is stronger, smaller and more comfortable.

A mandibular advancement device (MAD) is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that prevents your lower jaw from sinking too far back in your throat. It also keeps your tongue from dropping towards the back of your throat, all of which keeps your airway open and able to facilitate the free flow of oxygen.

To get your oral appliance, schedule a consultation with Advanced Care Dentistry by phone or online today.