It’s estimated that as many as 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. If you wake up feeling tired and groggy, it could be related to your oral health. Leading general dentists Susan Mazzei, DDS, and Kelsey Esposito, DMD specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea for patients throughout Warrenville, Illinois. Before going one more restless night, schedule an evaluation at West Suburban Oral Healthcare. You can book your appointment either online or over the phone.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder where your breathing suddenly stops and starts.

With sleep apnea, you’re likely to tense your jaw and grind your teeth at night. As you tense up your teeth, your brain gets a signal to wake up and take a breath, which ultimately disrupts your night of sleep.

There are several different causes of sleep apnea, although they all result in disrupted sleep.

With obstructive sleep apnea, for instance, your throat muscles relax, resulting in collapsed airways. This can happen if you’re overweight since your airways can’t support the extra pressure as you lie down.

In some cases, your brain doesn’t send proper signals to control breathing. This is known as central sleep apnea.

Some patients have both issues – collapsed airways and signal issues – which is called complex sleep apnea syndrome.

Will I know if I have sleep apnea?

Possibly. Most men and women who have sleep apnea experience similar symptoms. You might have sleep apnea if you:

  • Wake up feeling tired and groggy
  • Snore throughout the night
  • Have frequent morning headaches
  • Experience difficulty concentrating
  • Have difficulty staying asleep
  • Are irritable or have mood swings

It’s common for patients to have no recollection of snoring or waking up frequently, but their partner’s night of sleep is often disrupted.

How does a dentist treat sleep apnea?

General dentists are often the first medical professionals to recognize and diagnose sleep apnea. Not only does your dentist notice the signs of grinding, but they’re also going to ask you about related symptoms, like sore jaws.

Both Dr. Mazzei and Dr. Esposito can help resolve sleep apnea issues by offering custom mouth guards (medically known as occlusal guards).

These mouth guards prevent nighttime grinding, so your brain doesn’t get the signal to wake up and breathe. Mouthguards can also help keep your lower jaw forward to help open up your airways.

If you think you have sleep apnea or haven’t found a successful solution after a diagnosis, book an evaluation at West Suburban Oral Healthcare either online, or over the phone.

Dr. Susan Mazzei, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Susan Mazzei is committed to delivering compassionate and effective care to patients of all ages and backgrounds in Naperville, Illinois. She is a highly skilled dentist who earned her Certification in Prosthodontics after graduating from Northwestern University Dental School.

After finishing her studies, she enrolled in the Northwestern University Dental School faculty as a full-time Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Mazzei believes that optimal dental health begins with education and preventative care and educates patients at West Suburban Oral Healthcare on how to take more control of their oral health, which promotes optimal systemic health.

Dr. Mazzei is dedicated to upgrading her education and being up to date on the newest breakthroughs in oral health and dentistry, ensuring that her patients receive the finest care possible.

Dr. Kelsey Esposito, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Kelsey Esposito joined West Suburban Oral Health Care as an Associate General Dentist in 2017 after meeting Dr. Mazzei, with whom she shared a belief in providing comprehensive, personalized dental care.

She holds a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College and a Premedicine Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Northwestern University. Before entering dentistry, she worked in healthcare advertising and communications for a large ad company and a small non-profit cancer research organization. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Illinois, Chicago.

Dr. Esposito is a member of several leading professional associations, like the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry. Paying attention to detail and offering quality care that makes patients satisfied with their oral health and smiles are her goals.