Sleep Apnea Specialist

The Dental Design Studios

Ivis Hernandez, DDS

Dentist located in Houston, TX

If you’re one of the 100 million people who experience sleep apnea worldwide, a trip to the dentist could be the first step towards finding relief from your symptoms. Ivis Hernandez, DDS, and the team of professionals at The Dental Design Studios provide exceptional sleep apnea treatments in Houston, Texas. Schedule your sleep apnea appointment today by calling the office or booking a visit online.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which you stop breathing for periods throughout the night. These moments of breathlessness can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur up to hundreds of times during the night.

It’s a particularly dangerous condition since it deprives your body of essential oxygen. This can lead to numerous short- and long-term health consequences, ranging in severity from mild to deadly.

Since the effects of the condition take place while you’re sleeping, many people who have sleep apnea are unaware.

What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses into your airway and your tongue relaxes towards the back of your throat. This effectively blocks your airway and impedes your ability to breathe.

Some of the risk factors that make you more likely to have sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a thicker neck
  • Older age
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol or using sedatives

Men are also much more likely to develop sleep apnea than women, and it tends to run in families.

What are the signs that I have sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can often be difficult to notice since it’s a condition that occurs while you’re sleeping. In many cases, sleep apnea is initially identified by your sleep partner, who might notice that you snore loudly or stop breathing when you’re asleep.

Some of the other signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Waking up choking or gasping for air
  • Early morning headaches
  • Grogginess or sleepiness during the daytime
  • Insomnia
  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulty focusing

There are also some indications that your dentist might notice when examining your mouth, like an irritated throat from snoring or worn-down tooth surfaces from grinding.

How do you treat sleep apnea?

The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which is a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose connected to a machine that delivers a steady flow of oxygen to your system.

Many patients find CPAP masks invasive and difficult to sleep with, though, which is why Dr. Hernandez offers alternative treatments.

One such treatment is a removable mouthguard custom-designed to fit snugly over your teeth to gently push your lower jaw forward, which effectively prevents your tongue from blocking your airway. Another treatment is a surgery on your lower jaw that permanently pulls forward the bone holding your tongue. This option is highly successful and simple to perform.

Schedule your sleep apnea visit with The Dental Design Studios today by calling the office or booking an appointment online.