Are you tired of getting interrupted sleep every night? Are you tired of having a sore throat when you wake up? Are you just tired of being tired all the time? You may suffer from sleep apnea. S&G Family Dentistry can help you find solutions for sleep apnea to help you get the rest you desperately need.
What is sleep apnea?
For our Leawood, KS dental office, Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that can cause you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night. There are two main forms of sleep apnea:
Because we are site accredited here, what we do is that if a patient comes in and says, “I think I might have Apnea”, or because I’ve been doing this for so many years, we get a lot of people referred to us from their uncles, aunts, whatever. The first thing we do, if they don’t have a sleep study, is we can do an unattended home sleep study. Its about the size of a cellphone. They wear it one night, bring it back the next day. Then we can- As a dentist, we are not legally allowed to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
That has to be done by a physician, but we can tell, because often times a patient will say, “Well, I’m not gonna go to a physician. I’m not gonna go do one of those overnight sleep studies.” Once they’ve seen us, and we’ve done our exam on them, and have educated them about Obstructive Sleep Apnea, then they go home and they do the sleep study. The next day we give them their results, and tell them, “Wow you had 30 events per hour.” This is shocking to them, because 30 times an hour, they quit breathing.
Now, within a week they’re usually in having a sleep study. It’s something that we aren’t the gateway, but we may open the gate to allow people to see what’s going on, and to get them headed in the right direction. They would go see their physician, and then they would come back to us. Since we are SITE accredited, both Dr G and I are both boarded in Dental Sleep Medicine. We cannot make an appliance for anyone that hasn’t been referred by a physician and had a sleep study. That’s just part of our practice here, and it’s better for the patients. It’s better for everyone.
I think the biggest thing, if you imagine or you think you may have it you most likely do. If you just listen to yourself and just that little voice back there saying, you know I wonder if I have obstructive sleep apnea. Get it checked out because nowadays it is so easy to take care of it. There's so many options. It doesn't have to be the CPAP. It doesn't have to be the full overnight study. It can be as small as an oral appliance and as small as a home sleep test. I think that's the most important thing. It's your health. If you were to just sit there and hold your breath for 10 seconds, well that's what some of these people do every single night. It has a direct affect on your health, your brain, your relationships. It affects so many aspects of the body.
- Central Sleep Apnea – Central sleep apnea is caused by a problem in the part of the brain that regulates your breathing as you sleep. This is a serious condition that you need to address.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is when you stop breathing while you sleep due to a blockage in your airway, such as your tongue or tissues in your throat.
What causes sleep apnea?
In our Leawood, KS dental office, there is not just one cause of sleep apnea. It can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender. Here are some of the risk factors associated with the development of sleep apnea symptoms.
- Overweight – Studies show that those who have excess body weight are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Conversely, people who do not get treated for sleep apnea are more likely to gain weight. Dieting and exercise can help reduce symptoms for many people.
- Over Age 40 – Although sleep apnea affects people no matter their age, statistics clearly show a link between being over the age of 40 and developing obstructive sleep apnea.
- Larger than Average Neck Size – A large neck means more soft tissue in your throat, which means more of a chance for that tissue to block your airway. A large neck size for a man is considered to be 17 inches and 16 inches for women.
There are other risk factors that the dentists at S&G Family Dentistry in Leawood, KS may go over with you as we plan your treatment.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Heavy snoring can be the most common symptom associated with obstructive sleep apnea, but often woman do not report heavy snoring. You may also experience extreme fatigue throughout the day and be easily irritated due to your lack of quality sleep. Headaches, high blood pressure or diabetes may be present as well. Our office will help identify your symptoms and develop a plan to help.Can S&G Family Dentistry diagnose my sleep apnea?
S&G Family Dentistry in Leawood, KS is accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) to provide appropriate treatment, but it is not legal for our dentists to diagnosis your sleep apnea. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may be discussed at your next appointment. If you are experiencing any symptoms we may encourage you to try our home ALICE, home sleep screening equipment. With this screening tool we are able to educate you regarding your specific situation and work alongside your physician to provide treatment for your sleep apnea or snoring.
What are my dental treatment options?
We offer custom-made oral appliances that will open your airway, and minimize the risk of obstruction while you sleep. This is a great alternative for many people who cannot tolerate their CPAP machine, even those with moderate to severe sleep apnea. In hardly any time at all, you can experience a dramatic difference in your quality of sleep, as well as eliminate disruptive snoring for both you and your bed partner.
Call our Leawood, KS office today at 913-945-1612 to schedule your appointment or request more information on sleep apnea or severe snoring. For information about our Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center, please visit http://www.