Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. Each time this occurs, the brain briefly wakes up in order to start breathing again, which results in extremely fragmented and poor sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include excessive snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, waking with a dry mouth or sore throat, memory problems, irritability, fatigue and insomnia. If left untreated, the constant strain on the brain and the heart sleep apnea can be a potentially life threatening condition. It can increase the risk for serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, mood disorders and impotence.
If you or the dentists at Noble Dental suspects you suffer from sleep apnea or if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can work closely with your physician to implement and manage a prescribed therapy. The traditionally prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves sleeping with a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine. Although CPAP is effective, up to half of patients do not adhere to the treatment.
The dentists at Noble Dental can provide an alternate sleep solution with oral sleep appliance therapy. A sleep appliance is a custom fitted appliance that is designed to wear at night. The appliance positions the mandible slight forward, bringing the tongue forward and thus keeping the throat open allowing for airflow. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. Patients like it because it’s comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel and easy to clean.
Our team at Noble Dental is ready to answer your questions about obstructive sleep apnea, dental sleep medicine and oral appliance therapy.