How Can My Dentist Help With Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore? If you do, then you’re likely suffering from sleep apnea, a condition that causes sleep disruption due to irregular breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea can disrupt the sufferer and their spouse or sleep partner. More than that, sleep apnea can also be dangerous because it is a condition that disrupts breathing. Fortunately, your dentist in Alabaster, AL, may be able to help.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when breathing stops and starts while sleeping. There are different types of sleep apnea, including obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when the tongue collapses against the palate during sleep. This causes the airway to be blocked. Signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Irritability
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping during sleep
  • Dry mouth in the morning upon waking
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Difficulty focusing

How Can the Dentist Help?

For many patients, obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that can be managed with dental appliances that prevent the tongue from blocking the airway. Your dentist can help you by fitting you with an appliance that’s custom-made for your mouth.

While some dental appliances (called night guards) are sold in pharmacies, these appliances are not always comfortable or as effective as custom-made appliances.

Contact Your Dentist for Sleep Apnea Treatment Today

Could you benefit from a dental sleep apnea appliance in Alabaster, AL? The professionals at Albritton and Ardovino Family Dentistry can help. We’re experienced in providing the type of care patients need for obstructive sleep apnea. We also provide dental sleep apnea appliances. Call today to make an appointment and learn more.

What Are The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition where a person does not breathe consistently during sleep. Because sleep apnea can be a sign of an underlying health problem and the cause of serious health conditions, it’s imperative to seek help from your dentist in Alabaster, AL, as an early diagnosis is key to recovery success. You and your loved ones and/or sleep partner should be aware of sleep apnea symptoms. They include, but are not limited to, the following:


Sleep apnea interrupts the cycle of sleep, where your body gets deep rest. This results in persistent fatigue after waking, even when you think you got a full night’s sleep. You may feel groggy, sluggish, or have a headache throughout the day.

Startling Awake

Since the airway isn’t pushing oxygen through, you may startle awake with the sensation that you can’t breathe. In fact, this is your body’s response to oxygen deprivation. Upon waking, it may take you several seconds to catch your breath.

Loud, Disruptive Snoring

Air vibration causes this as it flows over soft tissue in the throat. A throat obstruction may actually cause sleep apnea or at least contribute to it. Your Alabaster, AL dentist can perform an exam to see if any obstruction is visible.

Cessation of Breathing

Sometimes a sleep partner is the first to detect that sleep apnea may occur. A person with sleep apnea may be breathing deeply, suddenly stopping for a few seconds, and then starting up again. This is a classic symptom of sleep apnea and means you should seek professional help earlier rather than later.

Treatment For Sleep Apnea

Treatment for sleep apnea in Alabaster, AL, is available from your dentist at Albritton & Ardovino. Contact us today to learn about how we diagnose and treat this serious condition.

Does Snoring Always Mean Sleep Apnea?

If you’re concerned about sleep apnea, you may be worried if you notice that you or your partner snores. Snoring is one indicator of sleep apnea, but it isn’t the only symptom, as your dentist in Alabaster, AL, can explain. It’s possible for a person to snore while sleeping without sleep apnea being present. While snoring may disrupt sleep, it’s not always something to worry about.

What Causes Snoring?
Snoring results from the vibration of muscles in the back of the throat. During sleep, this muscle tissue relaxes. As air passes through from respiration, the tissue may vibrate. A person may snore occasionally from being congested, consuming too much alcohol, or even falling asleep in certain awkward positions.

How Sleep Apnea Differs From Occasional Snoring
The word “apnea” means “breathless.” Sleep apnea refers to interrupted breathing during sleep, where a person stops breathing for seconds at a time. The duration of the absence of breathing varies among individuals, but it should never be ignored.

Unlike occasional snoring, chronic sleep apnea may prevent needed oxygen from entering the body and brain, resulting in a problematic and potentially dangerous situation. A common sign of sleep apnea is when a person startles awake, usually with the sensation of choking or feeling that they can’t get a breath.

In summary, snoring may be occasional due to certain temporary conditions. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is the result of a consistent, problematic situation. A blocked airway may cause it due to obesity or muscle tissue.

Sleep apnea should not be ignored and needs to be treated. If you do need sleep apnea treatment in Alabaster, AL, you can get it at Albritton & Ardovino Family Dentistry. Contact us today to book an exam to learn more.

Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Yourdentist in Alabaster, AL, is a valuable first line of defense against sleep apnea since they routinely inspect the mouth and throat area during dental exams. One of the most common questions that patients ask their dentist is whether sleep apnea is genetic.

Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?
Many scientific studies have been done to determine the causes of sleep apnea. It’s been found that, while the actual condition may not be directly inherited, there are certain genetic conditions that can increase the likelihood of a person inheriting this condition. What this means is, if you have inherited certain conditions, you may have a higher chance of developing sleep apnea sometime during your lifetime.

What Genetic Conditions Can Lead to Sleep Apnea?
One form of sleep apnea, called obstructive sleep apnea, occurs as a direct result of obesity. Obesity can be brought on by several factors, including diabetes. So, if you have a family member with diabetes, with or without obesity, you may be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. In fact, it’s estimated that those who are obese have ten times more likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea.

The anatomy of the face can contribute to sleep apnea, too. Since the bone structure and general face anatomy are most certainly inherited, if you have a relative with sleep apnea, especially one that you resemble, you may have a larger chance of getting sleep apnea, too.

The general breathing process—how you breathe and how often—also impacts sleep apnea. Your internal organs are also formed through a close genetic link. Therefore, it can be concluded that if you have a relative with sleep apnea, you should consult with your dentist.

Talk to your dentist aboutsleep apnea in Alabaster, AL so that you can be screened and treated. Contact us today to book your appointment.

3 Signs You May Have Need Help With Your Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea affects many, and if left untreated, it can lead to severe consequences that can affect your mental and physical health.

The Albritton and Ardovino Family Dentistry of Alabaster, AL team is proud to offer the local community premium dental services, including being there when you need us most to help treat your sleep apnea symptoms and improve your quality of life.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Have you ever heard someone snore continuously, with no way of making them stop? This could be a sign of sleep apnea. The most common characteristic is brief breathing pauses during sleep, which can last from a few seconds to a minute in some more severe cases.

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, caused by a blocked airway – which occurs when the throat muscles are too relaxed.

3 Signs You May Need Professional Help

There are some signs that you may have sleep apnea and not just suffer from regular snoring. Here are some tell-tale signs:

Loud and Persistent Snoring

Chronic snoring is a very noticeable sign. Of course, everyone snores occasionally, but if it happens more nights than not, this may be a sign of sleep apnea. If snorts and choking sounds accompany this snoring, this may be a huge red flag.

Daytime Fatigue and Excessive Sleepiness

People with untreated sleep apnea often wake up feeling unrefreshed and may struggle to stay awake during the day, which affects cognitive function.

Morning Headaches and Dry Mouth

The pauses in breathing during the night cause oxygen deprivation, leading to headaches and migraines. Because most breathing is done through the mouth, dry mouth and teeth are common.

Your Local Quality Dental Care Expert

Recognizing sleep apnea symptoms is the first step toward seeking timely help. During your next appointment with the professional team at Albritton and Ardovino Family Dentistry of Alabaster, AL, you can be sure you are getting the proper care you need that is unique to your situation.

Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea: Understanding the Differences

Your dentist in Alabaster, AL, wants you to know about the differences between snoring and sleep apnea. Understanding why special treatment is essential for dental health and overall well-being. And remember, if you suspect that you or a loved one have sleep apnea, be sure to contact us for treatment.

What is Snoring?

Snoring is one symptom of sleep apnea, but it isn’t the same as sleep apnea. In other words, a person can be a snorer, but they might not have sleep apnea. But a person with sleep apnea almost always snores. Snoring is your body’s reaction to relaxing while you’re falling asleep or already asleep. It’s a vibration noise that happens as the passages in your airways narrow due to the muscles relaxing. Snoring is of little concern unless it’s disruptive to the sleep cycle of the person doing the snoring or their sleep partner.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition where the person actually stops breathing during sleep. Oxygen deprivation can damage heart tissue and lead to brain damage. It’s caused by a blockage in the airway—not just a narrowing—that prevents air from flowing into the lungs. This is why many people with sleep apnea frequently startle awake with a sensation of choking. There are other forms of sleep apnea, but the important thing to know is that it needs to be treated, whereas snoring doesn’t necessarily need professional treatment.

Contact your dentist for sleep apnea treatment in Alabaster, AL. We can help diagnose the cause and fit you with a dental appliance to help support proper oxygen flow as you sleep. This is a potentially life-saving treatment, so it’s essential that you are seen as soon as possible.

Sleep Apnea Isn’t Just an Inconvenience: Here’s Why

If you or someone you live with has sleep apnea in Alabaster, AL, you may think that it’s just an inconvenience. However, sleep apnea can be symptomatic of a more serious condition, or it can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Loud snoring that disrupts others’ sleep
  • Sudden and/or violent waking
  • Waking with extremely dry mouth or throat
  • Sensation of choking
  • Fatigue upon waking
  • Feeling sluggish during the day

These aren’t all the symptoms of sleep apnea, but if you or a loved one is experiencing some or all of these, please contact us for a consultation to get help.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

In numerous studies, sleep apnea has been linked to poor cardiovascular health. The theory is that the body—and the heart especially—is being deprived of oxygen during sleep. This condition has the potential to increase the likelihood of a cardiac event or stroke, possibly leaving permanent damage or even having fatal consequences.

Sleep apnea frequently occurs in people who are 30 pounds or more over a healthy weight for their height. Technically, this term is obesity. With obesity comes a heightened risk for a number of health problems, including sleep apnea and diabetes. Whether or not the sleep apnea is a symptom of obesity or it leads to overeating due to cravings from lack of sleep is almost inconsequential in terms of getting help. The sleep apnea must be treated no matter what, because it’s harmful to health, not just an inconvenient issue that disrupts sleep.

Your dentist in Alabaster, AL can diagnose and treat sleep apnea. All you need to do is to book an appointment and explain what symptoms you’re experiencing. From there, a treatment plan can be made that will get you or your loved one back on a path where deep, restful sleep is possible, and health risks are mitigated. Contact us today to make your appointment.

3 Popular Options for Treating Sleep Apnea  

Are you looking for a sleep apnea dentist in Alabaster, AL? Sleep apnea is a serious condition that could have major negative effects on your quality of life and health. So, if you have sleep apnea or think you might have sleep apnea, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist right away for a diagnosis and to learn about your treatment options.

Three Popular Options for Treating Sleep Apnea

Here are the three most common options dentists use for sleep apnea treatments in Alabaster, AL.

1. Mandibular Advancement Devices

Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) look like sports mouthguards and are customized for each person. They are placed over the tops of your upper and lower teeth. These mouthguards are connected by a hinge in the center of each. The purpose of MADs is to hold your tongue and lower jaw in a slightly forward position throughout the night. This helps keep your mouth tissues away from the back of your throat and blocking your airways.

2. Tongue-Retaining Mouthpieces

Tongue-retaining mouthpieces are also called tongue-stabilizing devices. They use a light suction to pull your tongue forward and hold it in place. Many people prefer the MAD option over the tongue-retaining device.

3. Rapid Maxillary Expansion

Rapid maxillary expansion (RME) is typically used in children; however, it can also be used for teens and adults as well. RME is an orthodontic device that works by opening your airways by expanding the roof of your mouth. You will wear a custom-crafted expander that is placed over your top back teeth. This device uses pressure to push outward against your upper molars. And unlike other sleep apnea devices, RMEs are worn at all times, not just at night. The main goal for this sleep apnea option is to permanently adjust the narrow or highly arched hard palates of the mouth.

Do You Need a Sleep Apnea Dentist in Alabaster, AL?

If you’re looking for a dentist in Alabaster, AL to determine if you have sleep apnea, or if you just have a few questions first, please Contact Albritton & Ardovino today. We are a doctor-owned business and provide a comfortable, relaxing environment and look forward to assisting you.



How Airway Orthodontics Relieve Sleep Apnea

Has your dentist in Alabaster, AL, mentioned the benefits of airway orthodontics? Airway orthodontia is a branch of dentistry that deals with the way we take in oxygen. Sometimes, dental problems or abnormalities can make it difficult to breathe as easily as we should. When this happens, airway orthodontics may bring big relief. It may be especially helpful for those who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep. It happens when the muscles in your throat relax too much, causing tissue to intermittently block your airway. Some people have obstructive sleep apnea so bad they stop breathing many times during the night. While it’s rarely fatal, this disorder can cause a restless night and may make you feel tired and irritable the next day.

Most people who suffer from this form of sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it. A visit to the dentist may be the reason why it’s eventually diagnosed.

How Do Airway Orthodontics Help?

Oral appliances that reposition your jaw or tongue are often helpful in relieving the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Your dentist may also recommend a device called a CPAP machine. This works by delivering continuous airway pressure as you sleep. This pressure prevents the soft muscles in your throat from relaxing too much.

In severe cases, surgery that repositions your jaw, removes oversized adenoids or tonsils, or straightened a deviated septum in your nose may also be beneficial.

Airway Orthodontics in Alabaster, AL

If you’re interested in learning more about airway orthodontics in the Alabaster, AL, area, Albritton and Ardovino Family Dentistry can help. Call today to set up a convenient time to come in and meet with one of our friendly and experienced dental clinicians.

Your Dentist in Birmingham, AL, Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea  

Sleep apnea is a common yet potentially serious sleep disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the United States. People of any age can develop sleep apnea, including infants. However, the sleep disorder is most common in people over age 40 and those who are significantly overweight.

Other Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

People with a large neck and certain structural abnormalities of the jaw and throat have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. These factors include:

  • Certain neuromuscular diseases
  • Certain pulmonary and cardiac diseases
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Heart failure
  • Low-hanging soft palate
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Overbite resulting from having a small jaw
  • Previous stroke

Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily develop sleep apnea even if you have several risk factors.

Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

When the soft tissue situated near the rear of the throat collapses during sleep, it causes people to momentarily wake up gasping for air. The incident may only last for a few seconds and be so brief that you don’t remember it in the morning. Here are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating, irritability, and/or forgetfulness
  • Feeling restless during sleep
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Snoring
  • Sore throat and/or dry mouth when waking up in the morning

The effects of sleep apnea often impact the bed partner as much as the person afflicted with it. If you have trouble remembering any episodes or symptoms the next morning, be sure to ask your partner to fill you in on the details.

Standard Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Alabama

Most people visit a doctor rather than a dentist when they struggle with symptoms of sleep apnea. Doctors typically prescribe a CPAP machine that keeps the airways open as you sleep. Unfortunately, the machine is rather large and cumbersome, making it difficult for you to get comfortable at night and nearly impossible to share a bed with a partner.

We take a different approach at the dental practice of Albritton & Ardovino by prescribing a dental sleep apnea appliance instead. You wear the device only at night, and our dental laboratory creates it specifically for the size and shape of your mouth. Please contact us today to learn more about treatment for sleep apnea in Alabama.