Stop Snoring with Sleep Apnea Therapy in Oakton
Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder after insomnia. Patients who suffer from the disorder experience cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. While this may seem harmless, patients who suffer from untreated sleep apnea can experience serious health issues related to lack of sleep, oxygen deprivation, and elevated blood pressure. Millions of US adults have untreated sleep apnea. At Oakton Dentistry by Design, our skilled dentist and team are here to help you determine whether or not you’re suffering from sleep apnea, and provide treatment that allows you to breathe deeply through the night.
Risk Factors & Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
Diagnosis is the first step to treating sleep apnea. Patients who are at a higher risk for sleep apnea should be aware. Men, patients with weight problems, those with a large neck circumference, and those who have family members with sleep apnea are all at high risk for the disorder. Please contact our Oakton dental team or a local sleep physician if you are at risk for sleep apnea, and/or you notice any combination of the following warning signs:
- Chronic loud snoring
- Waking gasping for air or wheezing
- Severe daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
There are two main types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is the rare form of the disorder, and it occurs when the brain fails to trigger the body to breathe during sleep. CSA can be life threatening, and patients diagnosed with this form of sleep apnea often need advanced treatment or surgery. The more common of the two types of sleep apnea is obstructive (OSA). As the name suggests, this form of sleep apnea occurs because the airway is physically obstructed during sleep. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Unfortunately, many patients find themselves unable to adapt to the sounds and sensations associated with CPAP therapy. That’s where the dentist comes in. We offer oral appliance therapy at Oakton Dentistry by Design. These compact, comfortable appliances shift the jaw forward, place pressure on throat muscles, and keep the airway clear. For many OSA sufferers, these oral appliances, sometimes called occlusal splints, are an effective treatment alternative to traditional CPAP. For others, a combination of CPAP and oral appliance therapy offers the ideal solution. Our team works in partnership with you and your sleep doctor to ensure we find the best possible treatment solution.
Why Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea Therapy
Dentists receive advanced training in the way the oral and facial structures (including the airway) should function. When patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a dentist is an ideal doctor to help them improve their quantity and quality of sleep. You should consider scheduling a sleep apnea consultation with a dentist in the following situations:
- You notice warning signs of sleep apnea and you want to learn more about your risk for the disorder and your treatment options
- You have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are CPAP intolerant
- You travel frequently and are unable to transport your CPAP system with you