Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Therapy
Maryville and Knoxville, TN
Do I have obstructive sleep apnea?
Millions of people all over the world are suffering from sleep apnea, and the tragedy is that most of them do not even know that they have it. Obstructive sleep apnea has been associated with stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, heart failure, depression, and a host of other diseases. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or if you want to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea, here is some helpful information from Crestview Dental Care.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-breathing disorder affecting people in their sleep, during which the person’s breathing stops for intermittent periods or becomes infrequent. Each pause in the breathing is referred to as an episode and may occur a few times, or as much as 100 or more times per hour. Snoring or gasping for air sounds occur because of the airway restriction. Eventually, carbon dioxide builds up in the person’s bloodstream, and the brain wakes up out of the deepest stage of the sleep cycle, REM, alerting the body to resume breathing. Each time one of these episodes occur, it disrupts the sleep cycle, making it more difficult to enter or remain in the deepest stage of sleep, which is crucial to restoring the mind and body.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can keep disrupting your sleep until you find a solution. It will not go away on its own. With time, it will get worse, and the health risks associated with it increase.
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea
It is nearly impossible for you to self-diagnose sleep apnea by yourself, clearly because you are asleep when while it happens. You may ask someone to observe your sleep or by recording your sleep, but this is no substitute for receiving a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional.
A common sign that you are suffering from sleep apnea is daytime fatigue. You may find yourself dozing off when you are quiet for a few moments. Another sign that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea is that you are having trouble breathing during the day.
Here are some more symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:
- Headaches in the morning.
- Difficulty concentrating and learning or memory problems
- Feeling fatigued, irritable, or suffering from mood swings throughout the day
- Sore throat or dry mouth after sleep
- Difficulty breathing (stop breathing throughout sleep)
- Being overweight or obese
Alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea
If you know anything about sleep apnea, you have probably heard of a CPAP machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure.
CPAP is a very effective treatment if the patient will comply with it and continue to use the machine, which sends a steady flow of air through an attached mask worn over the face. Most patients will not or cannot use a CPAP properly and therefore, do not get the full benefits.
Common problems with CPAP include:
- Embarrassing when with a partner sleeping
- Uncomfortable to wear
- Skin irritation and rashes
- Dry mouth and throat
- Inability to sleep due to noise
- Keeps bedmate awake due to noise
- Inconvenient when traveling
- Requires frequent maintenance
Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea
An oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea looks similar to a mouth guard that a football player would wear, but it does so much more. These are specially designed to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This custom medical device is made to specifically guide the lower jaw into a forward position, helping to maintain an open airway during sleep and allows a continuous flow of oxygen. The sleep apnea oral appliances offered at Crestview Dental Care are nothing like the anti-snoring and sleep apnea mouthpieces you can buy over-the-counter. Our oral appliances are designed for comfort, so you will be able to wear them all night long.
Sleep apnea screening in Maryville
This screening is another tool to detect the presence of a sleep breathing disorder like sleep apnea. Note that not every person who snores will be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Nor is it true that every person suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will snore. If you think you have sleep issues, visit your Maryville, Tennessee dentists at Crestview Dental Care for an airway evaluation. That said, if you want an official diagnosis, you should visit a sleep specialist. If he gives you a positive diagnosis, do not forget to discuss your options with your dentist.
To learn more about obstructive sleep apnea and how we can help manage your sleep-breathing disorder, please contact Crestview Dental Care today at (865) 982-1700 to schedule a consultation. We welcome patients of Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee.