Sleep Apnea

Deidra Kokel, DDS

Dentists located in Leesburg, VA

If you’re one of the many men and women in the US who wake-up constantly throughout the night due to sleep apnea, there’s hope. Deidra Kokel, DDS provides nighttime oral appliances at her practice in Leesburg, Virginia, that reposition your jaw during sleep to restore breathing at night. Sleep apnea constricts your airways during sleep, causing symptoms like excessive snoring and insomnia. To learn more about how Dr. Kokel can help you get the rest you need, call or click today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

Deidra Kokel, DDS

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common and potentially serious condition marked by blockages in your upper airway during sleep that limits your airflow. Fortunately, a personalized treatment plan from Dr. Kokel can alleviate your symptoms.

These interruptions in your breathing make getting a good night’s sleep nearly impossible because you wake up constantly throughout the night — even if you don’t know it.

What are the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most common signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea include the following:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Choking or gasping while sleeping
  • Insomnia
  • Waking-up repeatedly at night
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth or a sore throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches

As most sleep apnea symptoms occur while sleeping, you often need the help of your sleeping partner to detect them. Ask them to let you know if they notice anything out of the ordinary when you sleep at night.

What causes sleep apnea?

The exact cause of sleep apnea isn’t known, but a variety of risk factors increase your chances of having sleep apnea:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight or obese

Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy weight and a balanced diet is the best preventive action against sleep apnea. Unlike factors you have no control over, such as aging and how your brain controls breathing during sleep, you can decide to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Genetics, or a relevant family history with the condition, may also be a significant risk factor for sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea treated?

If you notice sleep apnea symptoms, Dr. Kokel performs a thorough physical exam at your appointment. She evaluates your jaw position and performs additional tests, including X-rays, to assess the optimal jaw position to open your airway while you sleep.

The primary treatment for sleep apnea is a custom-made, nighttime oral appliance. Dr. Kokel takes impressions of your mouth, notes the jaw position information gained from X-rays, and an outside lab makes the oral appliance, or splint, for you.

You wear the comfortable appliance to help you breathe normally at night without interruption.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to call or book an appointment online and learn about treatment options.