Sleep apnea isn’t just a problem for you. It can be a problem for the people you love.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for you to get the deep sleep that you need to be as healthy as you can be.
So what does this have to do with dental care?
Every member of our team at S&G Family Dentistry wants you — and your family — to get the quality sleep that you need.
And our own Dr. Nancy Addy is both a credentialed Diplomate and a board member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Since 1995, she has been designing oral appliances that provide relief from sleep apnea and its symptoms.
Should You Be Tested For Sleep Apnea?
Before starting sleep apnea treatment, it’s important to confirm you have this sleep disorder.
If you aren’t sure if you should be tested, ask how many of these symptoms you are showing. (You may need to ask your spouse or family members about some of them.)
◻ Loud and constant snoring when you fall asleep
◻ Frequent breathing stoppages* while you are sleeping
◻ Frequent daytime sleepiness
◻ Frequent morning headaches
◻ Being easily irritated or aggravated
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, we strongly encourage you to use our take-home sleep testing equipment. While we cannot diagnose your condition, we do work closely with sleep physicians. If the physician determines that you do have sleep apnea, then we can work on the right treatment for you.
* Apnea comes from a Greek word that means “without breath.” Someone with sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times each night as a result of this condition.
Treatment With CPAP vs. An Oral Appliance
The purpose of sleep apnea treatment is to keep your airway open so you can keep breathing while you are asleep.
When your airway becomes blocked, your body’s response is to wake you up briefly so you can breathe again. Each time this happens, you start your sleep cycle over, which is why you may not get deep sleep needed to feel fully rested.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines work by pushing air into your airway to keep it open. To use a CPAP, you need to wear a mask while you sleep either over your nose or over your mouth and nose.
Unfortunately, many people find new struggles when trying to sleep with a CPAP machine. You may find the mask is irritating. You might find the noise of the machine keeps you (or your spouse) from falling asleep. Or you may feel that the air pressure itself makes it difficult for you to sleep.
For this reason, many CPAP users do not use their machines as regularly as they should.
With oral appliance therapy, you can address those issues and a few more that we haven’t mentioned yet.
An oral appliance can adjust the position of your jaw in a way that keeps your airways open. This allows you to breathe easier — and snore less — when you fall asleep. As a result, you can get the deep, healthy, restful sleep that you need.
You may need a little time to get used to sleeping with the appliance in your mouth. Even so, you won’t need to wear a mask or listen to the sound of your machine.
Oral appliances also don’t require electricity so you can bring it with you on a camping trip. And speaking of traveling, the oral appliance is small enough to fit in your pocket, which makes it easy to bring with you wherever you are.
Talk To Us About Sleep Apnea
When left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and car accidents among other potentially serious health concerns.