If you snore loudly or your breathing stops repeatedly as you sleep, we encourage you to ask dentist Michael D. Doty, D.D.S. about our oral therapy sleep devices. Interrupted breathing patterns may be a result of obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by obstructions in the airway, such as the tongue rolling back in the throat or collapsed tissues in the airway. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to several serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver problems. It is important to have this condition treated, but sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep physician. We recommend that you talk to Dr. Doty, as well as your doctor, if you suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. Common signs of sleep apnea include:

• Extreme drowsiness during the day
• Personality changes and irritability
• Difficulty staying asleep
• Snoring
• Awakening with a very dry or sore throat
• Frequent morning headaches

Sleep apnea treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Doty may provide an oral appliance if requested by your sleep doctor. The oral appliance works to treat obstructive sleep apnea by fitting over your teeth and keeping your airway open while you sleep. It can work by preventing the tongue from blocking the air passage or by holding your jaw in a position that prevents airway blockages during sleep. For more information about how we help to treat sleep apnea in Abingdon, Virginia, we welcome you to call or visit our dental practice today. We are committed to helping you improve your health!