Acid Reflux (GERD)

Many people occasionally experience acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the muscles in your esophagus fail to relax and cause acid to back up into your esophagus. When acid reflux repeatedly occurs over extended periods, it can cause a more severe condition, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

GERD occurs when stomach acid flows repeatedly back into your esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. This constant backwash, or reflux of acid, irritates the esophagus lining and can cause it to deteriorate. GERD can cause intense, chronic discomfort.

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder where your airflow significantly decreases or stops during sleep due to an obstruction in your upper airway. Several studies have identified a link between sleep apnea and GERD. A large percentage of people with sleep apnea have GERD.

If you struggle with sleep apnea and GERD, find relief using state-of-the-art technology at Babylon Dental Care. We use proven, innovative methods that successfully treat GERD and sleep apnea.

What Is Acid Reflux/GERD

When you swallow, a sphincter muscle around the bottom of your esophagus opens and closes so food and liquid can pass into your stomach. If this muscle does not relax as it normally does after opening and closing, stomach acid can flow into your esophagus. This constant irritation can cause inflammation of the lining of your esophagus.

Common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Backwash (an acidic sour-tasting regurgitation of food or liquid)
  • Heartburn (a burning sensation in your chest)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • The sensation of choking or coughing
  • The sensation of feeling a lump in your throat
  • Sore throat, hoarseness
  • Pain in the chest or upper abdomen

Diagnosing a patient with GERD involves examining the chest area around the esophagus and stomach. Tests include checking the rhythm of muscle contractions in the esophagus. Medical professionals use this test to treat people who have trouble swallowing. Another test involves measuring how long stomach acid regurgitates in the esophagus.

GERD and Sleep Interruptions During the Night

Acid reflux typically worsens at night when you lie down to sleep. Since you are no longer in an upright position, it is more difficult for gravity to help you digest your food. Acid is less prone to flow upward into your esophagus when you are awake and upright during the day.

Also, you swallow countless times over the course of an average day. The saliva you swallow helps neutralize stomach acid. However, you swallow less at night when asleep. As a result, stomach acid is more likely to backflow into the esophagus.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form. You experience symptoms of OSA during the night while asleep. OSA occurs when throat muscles relax and obstruct airflow into the lungs.

If you are experiencing sleep apnea signs or symptoms, you must proactively try to find a remedy since your breathing may frequently start and stop while sleeping. If you believe you may suffer from OSA caused by GERD, contact the Babylon Dental Care immediately.

How Are Sleep Apnea and GERD Related

While sleep apnea and GERD may seem unrelated at first glance, research indicates a link between the two medical conditions. They can interact and create a damaging cycle. Over time, your ability to normally eat and sleep may diminish, affecting your quality of life.

Nighttime acid reflux episodes can cause spasms of the throat muscles and vocal cords, which block your airway. Recurring episodes over time can lead to sleep apnea.

When you stop breathing during a sleep apnea incident, it alters the air pressure in your lungs. These changes can cause acid reflux by drawing stomach acid upward into your esophagus. Also, since you breathe harder right after restarting your breathing, any energetic breath can draw stomach acid upward into the esophagus.

Treating GERD and Sleep Apnea with Dental Treatments

The Babylon Dental Care provides a variety of sleep apnea treatments to help you find relief. If we diagnose you with sleep apnea, several treatment options are available.

The initial process of treating a patient in this situation includes a sleep study performed in the convenience of your own home rather than a sleep research facility. This convenience makes the process much easier and less intimidating for all patients. These tests measure your breathing patterns, airflow, heart rate, and blood oxygen level.

Babylon Dental Care features oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea patients. We can determine if oral appliance therapy is the right solution for you and your medical condition. Our patients use a customized oral appliance to manage their symptoms and sleep soundly and uninterrupted.

Our most commonly used treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. Why do we use the CPAP machine? Compared to all other sleep apnea treatments, it is the most effective and reliable. The CPAP machine provides continuous airway pressure, which helps patients reduce episodes of sleep apnea.

However, our experience tells us the CPAP machine isn’t for every patient. Although the CPAP machine can help avoid incidents of sleep apnea for many patients because it effectively regulates airway pressure, some patients find it uncomfortable. Other patients complain they have problems falling and staying asleep using a CPAP machine.

Babylon Dental Care also offers The Moses® appliance, which some patients find a more comfortable alternative than the CPAP machine. The Moses® allows wearers to perform regular functions like talking and even drinking during use.

Contact Babylon Dental Care for Treatment of Sleep Apnea Today!

To treat your obstructive sleep apnea, take the next step. If you live in the Babylon or Patchogue, NY area and believe you suffer from sleep apnea, we encourage you to contact Babylon Dental Care today. We provide practical, pain-free solutions for sleep apnea and other related medical conditions.

If you are interested in the CPAP machine or Moses device to treat your sleep apnea, contact Babylon Dental Care today at (631) 983-6665. Our patients don’t just experience better sleep. They also improve their health and overall well-being!