Is tossing and turning more a part of your nightly routine than dreams of tropical vacations or winning the lottery? If so, it’s time to take your sleep issue by the Zzzzzzs and find answer to your problem. There is a strong possibility you are among the many with sleep apnea. More than 25 million Americans are getting a lousy night’s sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health and most are unaware they have a sleep disorder. Only 16 percent of those with a sleep disorder ever seek help for their ailment, says one study.
Both adults and children can experience sleep apnea, which is the cessation of breathing during sleep. It sounds scary, but this disorder can be successfully treated. Ask your doctor to recommend a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and then select one of the many treatment options available to put you on a path to a peaceful night’s sleep.
You may be surprised to learn that one place to turn for treatment is where one of our highly trained dentist can treat you with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).
If you’d like more information about new innovations in sleep apnea treatment at , please call us the dental office closest to you.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea Remains Untreated?
Your overall health counts on getting proper rest, so having sleep apnea diagnosed and resolved is important. People with apnea actually stop breathing multiple times during the night, often because of a blocked airway. The obstruction could be their tongue, excess tissue in the throat, a nasal blockage, obesity or an enlarged tonsil or uvula, you know, that funny thing at the back of your throat. These interruptions to your sleep can dangerously lower oxygen levels in your body which forces your brain to jerk awake in order to send signals to your muscles, encouraging you to take a breath. This can occur dozens or up to hundreds of times a night, leaving you weary when the alarm rings in the morning.
If sleep apnea remains untreated for too long, it can cause other severe health problems, including heart attack and cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, memory issues and lack of focus.
What are Some Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms of sleep apnea you should be aware of in yourself or a family member include:
- Frequent loud snoring
- Lack of breathing or gasping for air while sleeping
- Memory loss
- Morning fatigue
- Weight gain or loss
- Recurrent headaches
- Nighttime perspiration
If you suffer any of these symptoms, talk to your primary care doctor to diagnose the cause. If it is determined you have sleep apnea, ask your doctor if Oral Appliance Therapy at is a treatment option for you.
How Does Sleep Apnea Occur?
A correct diagnosis is key to getting the proper treatment for your sleep apnea which comes in three forms:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is a blockage of your airway blockage caused by a genetic abnormality such as extra tissue in the back of the tongue, throat or nose. Oral Appliance Therapy typically helps this disorder.
- Central sleep apnea is prompted by a brief disconnect when your brain fails to send the proper signals to muscles responsible for breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea (also known as complex sleep apnea) is a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
How Can My Dentist at Help Me with Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy, also called OAT treatment, helps mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring problems caused by a repetitive airway obstruction. Our dentist at affiliated offices will work to to correct obstructive sleep apnea by providing a custom-made oral appliance worn while you sleep. The oral device, which keeps the airway open, looks similar to a sports mouthguard or retainer.
If your sleep apnea is caused by your tongue resting on the airway, a tongue-retaining device may be the best answer to solve your problem. If your sleep issues are prompted by how your jaw is positioned, our dentist can provide a device and/or headgear that with reposition your jaw and keep your airway open. All of these devices are only worn as you sleep and are removable.
If you have a severe sleep apnea, you likely are not a good candidate for oral appliances. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy remains the preferred solution for those patients. However, if the CPAP mask is more of a hindrance than help or you do not respond well to the CPAP treatment, talk about to your primary care physician or sleep specialist about other options.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Treatment Consultation Today
Please contact our dentist specializing in sleep apnea treatment at today for a consultation. You deserve a good night’s sleep and we are eager to assist you in achieving that goal.