Obstructive sleep apnea can cause significant changes to your health and quality of life. You can experience many symptoms, like chronic snoring, morning headaches, and fatigue. Did you know drooling can also be a sign of sleep apnea? Many factors can contribute to hypersalivation, but oral appliance therapy may be all you need to stop the embarrassment and breath better at night.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes many pauses in breathing frequently throughout the night. When the tongue or soft tissues in the back of the mouth relax when sleeping, they can cause an obstruction that can hinder breathing.
Each time you stop breathing, your sleep cycle is interrupted and your body is depleted of oxygen. With no treatment, you can be at risk of serious health issues, like heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity, all of which can shorten your lifespan.
Lack of sleep can also affect your mental health. You can develop mood changes, irritability, anxiety, and depression. If sleep deprivation occurs, your cognitive abilities can decline and you can experience memory loss.
Drooling and Sleep Apnea
Drooling is a common issue caused by sleep apnea. Narrowed airways often lead to mouth breathing. Saliva can accumulate on the insides of your cheeks and spill out through your mouth. Besides sleep apnea, many other factors can contribute to drooling, like:
- Sleep Position: Gravity can cause drooling. Sleeping on your back can make it more difficult for saliva to slip from your lips.
- Nasal Congestion: A stuffy nose can leave you with no other option than to breathe through your mouth. Treating congestion can open the nasal passages to make it easier to breathe normally.
If hypersalivation has become a problem, it’s time to turn to the help of professionals. They’ll determine if sleep apnea is the cause and create a personalized treatment plan.
Stop Drooling with Sleep Apnea Therapy
If sleep apnea is confirmed, you have multiple options for treatment. A CPAP is the most common method. A machine delivers air pressure through a mask worn over the mouth or nose to prevent pauses in breathing.
As an alternative to a CPAP, many patients are opting for oral appliance therapy. A custom-fit device holds your tongue and jaw in better positions to prevent an obstruction in the airway. You’ll breathe better, sleep soundly, and stop drooling.
An oral appliance is effective in treating mild-to-moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Don’t spend another night struggling to breathe or wake up with a drool spot on your pillow. Invest in better health and quality sleep with an oral appliance.
About Dr. David J. Drummond
Dr. Drummond earned his dental degree from Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago before entering the United States Army Dental Corps. He has regularly undergone advanced training in many specialties, like sleep apnea therapy. If you need treatment, request an appointment through our website or call (580) 227-8789.