Do you often feel tired and sluggish, even after a full night’s rest? You’re not alone. Feeling weary and drowsy despite getting enough sleep can be a frustrating and confusing experience.

Many people assume that they do not sleep enough or that their sleep quality could be better. However, the truth is that sleep-related problems can affect the quality of your rest and leave you feeling fatigued and drained.

Sleep is essential to our daily routine, allowing our body and mind to rest and rejuvenate. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, it can impact your immune system and mental health — even increasing the risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

You’d be surprised to know that these issues can be prevented and addressed through dental treatments — yes, you read that right! We’ve created this guide to help you understand the most common sleep-related problems and how dentistry can help.

At Brimfield Family Dentistry, we believe that by raising awareness of these conditions, we can help you get the rest you need to lead healthy and happy lives.

Sleeping Problems

Sleep-related problems can leave you feeling fatigued and drained, even after a long night’s sleep. These issues can range from difficulty falling or staying asleep to more serious conditions that disrupt normal breathing during sleep.

Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is a term that encompasses a range of sleep-related breathing disorders that can disrupt normal breathing during sleep, the most common being Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS).

These can affect people of all ages, including children. If left untreated, such conditions can severely affect your overall health and well-being.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is a breathing disorder that affects millions of people worldwide and is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. When this happens, you can experience repeated episodes of breathing cessation or even shallow breathing.

Each time the airway is blocked, which can occur hundreds of times during the night, the brain signals the body to wake up briefly to resume breathing. However, you may not be aware of these brief awakenings and may feel like you’ve slept through the night.

OSA can affect people of any age and is more common in those who are overweight or have a family history of the condition. Other risk factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, nasal congestion, and certain cardiovascular conditions.

Some symptoms of OSA are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

UARS is considered a milder form of sleep apnea compared to OSA. However, it can still cause significant sleep disruption and daytime fatigue, affecting your quality of life. UARS occurs when the muscles in the upper airway relax during sleep, leading to partial blockages and increased resistance to airflow.

The repeated micro-arousals during sleep in UARS can cause you to wake up feeling unrefreshed and tired, even after a full night’s sleep. This can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, making it difficult to concentrate and perform daily activities. You can also expect

  • Frequent snoring or snorting during sleep
  • Insomnia or trouble falling asleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Poor memory

Both OSA and UARS can

  • Lead to decreased productivity.
  • Increase the risk of accidents due to extreme drowsiness.
  • Cause cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Worsen or even lead to other medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, and diabetes.

Most people overlook the symptoms since they consider them innocuous. While they may not be alarming, they can seriously affect your health. We recommend seeing one of our dentists once you have identified them, so you can prevent them from getting more severe.

Tiredness? Dental solutions!

Afro American woman visiting dentist

If you or a loved one is suffering from OSA or UARS, don’t worry — there are dental treatments that will help!

These can help alleviate symptoms, improve sleep quality, and reduce the risk of long-term health complications. At Brimfield Family Dentistry, we offer sleep apnea treatments for people of all ages.

Oral appliances

Oral appliances are custom-made devices that fit in the mouth, similar to a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. They work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open during sleep. This prevents the soft tissues in the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.

For OSA, oral appliances can be an alternative to the more commonly prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth that delivers constant air pressure to keep the airway open.

While CPAP is effective, some people find it uncomfortable or claustrophobic. Oral appliances, on the other hand, are comfortable and easy to use. They can also be more convenient for travel or camping.

For UARS, oral appliances are also effective in reducing the resistance to airflow in the upper airway. They reduce resistance by repositioning the jaw and tongue to increase the space in the airway. This can lead to better breathing during sleep and a reduction in the number of micro-arousals.

Oral appliances are easy to use and maintain. They are also adjustable, allowing for personalized treatment and comfort. Most importantly, oral appliances effectively treat OSA and UARS, improving sleep and quality of life.

If these conditions are not treated promptly, we may recommend maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery. MMA is typically reserved for patients with severe OSA or UARS who have not responded to other treatment options. That’s why we highly recommend seeing one of our dentists as soon as you start experiencing symptoms.

HealthyStart System

The HealthyStart System for Kids is a non-invasive design to address the underlying causes of SBDs in children. This system uses a series of custom-made oral appliances to promote proper jaw and tooth development and improve breathing patterns during sleep. Most importantly, the HealthyStart System for Kids can help prevent the development of sleep apnea and other SBDs.

Both oral appliances and the HealthyStart System for Kids are safe, effective, and non-invasive solutions for managing SBDs. In addition, they’re comfortable and easy to wear, making them a convenient option for everyone. At Brimfield Family Dentistry, Dr. Clint Martin and Dr. Alex Funx can help you determine which solution is right for you or your child based on your individual needs and preferences.

You’ll sleep again with our help!

At Brimfield Family Dentistry, we understand how important getting a good night’s rest is for your overall health and well-being. If you are experiencing symptoms of a sleep-related breathing disorder or are concerned about your child’s sleep health, schedule a consultation to learn more about our oral appliances and the HealthyStart System for Kids.

Our team is committed to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness through comprehensive dental care. Don’t suffer in silence – take action and start enjoying restful, rejuvenating sleep today!