Sleep Dentist in La Jolla & San Diego, CA
When you entrust your smile to Dr. David Sabourin, you’ll benefit from his more than 35 years of dental expertise and enjoy a more comfortable dental experience than you ever thought possible at his elegant and soothing La Jolla dental studio.
Dr. Sabourin provides the perfect balance of advanced technology, clinical excellence, and compassion. As an expert in sleep dentistry, Dr. Sabourin has successfully treated many patients with sleep apnea, a fairly common sleep disorder that often goes undiagnosed.
Most people are unaware they’re having issues breathing while they sleep and even if they do, can’t judge the severity of the problem. It’s often a bed partner that detects these problems because they suffer from sleepless nights as a result. If you snore loudly, suffer from insomnia, and/or feel tired, stressed, or moody during the day, sleep apnea treatment in San Diego may be the perfect solution.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing cessation episodes occur multiple times while a person is asleep. Although there are three types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is by far the most common sleep-related breathing disorder.
Worldwide, an estimated 936 million people ages 30–69 have mild to severe OSA, while 425 million people have moderate to severe cases.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
The majority of time, OSA is caused by blockage of the airway due to collapse of tissues from the roof of your throat. Certain risk factors that lead to anatomical changes make people more prone to OSA. Obesity is the number one risk factor because it can lead to fat deposits in the neck and around the tongue and palate that make the airway tighter and smaller.
Large tonsils or adenoids and smaller airways can contribute to disordered breathing during sleep. In fact, large adenoids and tonsils are the most common cause of pediatric OSA.
Jaw misalignment and some conditions or genetic factors can lead to a facial structure imbalance that forces the tongue to sit further back in the mouth, thereby causing sleep apnea.
What Happens During Sleep Apnea Episodes?
With OSA, the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat (e.g., your tongue and soft palate) temporarily relax. When the muscles relax at the back of the throat, your airway narrows or completely closes, thereby momentarily cutting off your breathing. Interruptions in breathing usually last 10 seconds or more, occur as many as 30 times or more in the span of an hour, and may temporarily minimize oxygen flow to the brain.
The airway obstruction causes most people to awaken, engage muscles in their throat and take several gasps or deep breaths accompanied by sounds like snorting or choking. Restless sleep with periods of nighttime wakefulness can be accompanied by tossing and turning and even kicking, thrashing, or suddenly awakening in a disheveled bed.
Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms
- Loud snoring
- Periodic breathing cessation
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Morning dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Insomnia and hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness)
- Irritability or moodiness
The Potential Side Effects of OSA
When left untreated, sleep apnea can impact your physical and mental health. A 2020 research study showed an association between OSA and anxiety and depression. Sleep deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of injury in adults, teens, and children. Multiple studies found a link between sleep apnea and the following systemic health issues:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Dental Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Dentists treat OSA with a custom-made oral appliance that fits over the teeth like an orthodontic retainer. The appliance brings the lower jaw forward, which widens the opening to the airway, prevents its collapse, and enables easier breathing.
For many patients, this convenient, comfortable, and portable sleep apnea appliance can alleviate or eliminate snoring, improve the quality of sleep, boost energy, and increase daytime alertness.
In more severe cases, dentists typically recommend patients visit a reputable sleep clinic so a sleep specialist can order a sleep study, formalize the diagnosis, and prescribe a CPAP device. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is used to treat both OSA and central sleep apnea. Continuous pressurized air is delivered through a mask to the nose and mouth to keep the airway open.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation
If you’re looking for sleep apnea remedies in San Diego, Dr. Sabourin is an experienced sleep dentist who has helped countless patients suffering from OSA with oral appliance therapy.
No need to suffer when Dr. Sabourin can help you enjoy more restful nights and reduce the risk of associated health problems. And if you have a more severe case, he’ll refer you to a local sleep clinic.
Schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Sabourin to take back your nights and enjoy improved sleep and overall health!