Get Uninterrupted Sleep with Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you’re snoring when you sleep, you might have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This serious sleep disorder causes your throat muscles to intermittently relax, which leads to the blocking of your airway while you’re asleep
Rod W. Gore DDS provides treatment for sleep apnea for Scottsdale residents. This treatment option involves the use of a custom mouth guard to keep the throat unobstructed.
Sleep apnea or apneic episodes occur when breathing involuntarily stops. With OPA, instead of the air flowing smoothly from the nose or mouth into the lungs, it is instead blocked by too-narrow airways in the throat. Snoring is the primary indicator of this disorder since the sound it produces is from the air squeezing through the throat’s narrow airway.
Other symptoms of OSA to look out for include:
- Feeling tired or lethargic during mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Feeling like you need a cup of coffee during these times to stay awake.
- Feeling like you could easily fall asleep if you sit still for more than 5 minutes or you get drowsy while waiting for a traffic light to turn green.
- Waking up first thing in the morning and NOT feeling rested at all and wanting to hit the “snooze” button on the alarm clock.
- Feeling “foggy mentally during the day or having trouble remembering things that used to be easy to remember.
- Weight gain or gastric reflux making you want to take a Tums or medicine to correct indigestion.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s best to receive treatment as soon as possible. Failure to remedy OSA immediately can lead to a heart attack, high blood pressure, strokes, and even death. There are many studies that show that untreated or undiagnosed OSA can take 8-10 years off your life from the additional work of the heart making up for lack of oxygen.
Patients suffering from sleep apnea should immediately schedule an appointment with Scottsdale dentist, Dr.Gore to address the issue. There are treatment options for you. We often recommend oral appliance therapy first. A custom-made nightguard helps to keep your jaw in the correct forward position to prevent snoring and promote proper breathing.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Sometimes, the disruption in breathing occurs hundreds of times. Left untreated, sleep apnea can deprive the brain of oxygen, which leads to more serious health problems.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the airway gets blocked, usually when throat muscles relax involuntarily.
Central Sleep Apnea
This condition occurs when the brain doesn’t send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing, resulting in its disruption.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Also called complex sleep apnea syndrome, mixed sleep apnea occurs when a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
The involuntary relaxation of muscles at the back of a person’s throat causes obstructive sleep apnea. These muscles support the movement of the tongue, tonsils, and the sidewalls of the throat.
When these muscles relax, the walls of the throat shrink, and the tongue flops back to the opening of the throat. These make the airways narrow and block them as you sleep.
Central sleep apnea, meanwhile, occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control a person’s breathing. This may be compounded by other conditions, such as a stroke or heart failure.
Signs and Symptoms
Obstructive and central sleep apnea share plenty of signs and symptom, which include:
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Waking with a headache
- Hypersomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Abrupt waking due to shortness of breath
- Chest pains
Factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Excess weight
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Medical conditions like congestive heart failure and hypertension
- Nasal congestion
- Age (older)
- Sex (male)
- Use of alcohol, sedatives, or other substances that relax muscles
Factors that increase the risk of central sleep apnea
- Heart disorders
- Use of narcotic pain medications like methadone
- Age (older)
- Sex (male)
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you or a partner observes any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, and if you have any of the risk factors, consult your doctor right away.
Treatment for sleep apnea varies, but one of the most common is administered by a dentist. At Rod W. Gore, we provide Scottsdale patients treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in the form of a custom-made mouthguard to be worn at night or whenever you sleep. This will help keep the airways wide enough for breathing.
Schedule a consultation today.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Sleep apnea patients might be required to participate in a sleep study to determine the severity of their condition. Information from this study will be used to recommend the right treatment option.
Two of the most common solutions to obstructive sleep apnea are the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and a custom-made mouthguard. You can get a prescription for a CPAP machine from your physician or from a dentist.
If the mouth guard is the best obstructive sleep apnea solution, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth. These will be sent to a dental laboratory where the mouthguard can be made. Once done, it will be sent back to the dental clinic and will be properly fitted to you.
You will need to come back to the Scottsdale clinic to continuously adjust the mouthguard so it gives the best results. You will also be required to participate in a follow-up sleep study to determine if your sleep apnea has improved.
You will be given instructions on how to properly wear and care for your mouthguard to ensure it will last for years. As previously mentioned, you will have to come back to the dental clinic so your Scottsdale dentist can continue to re-fit the guard for better comfort.
Your dentist will also clean and assess the wear of the mouth guard. With proper care, the mouthpiece can last you for years. Eventually, though, it will have to be replaced to provide effective sleep apnea treatment. This is why it’s important to participate in follow-up sleep studies to ensure the mouth guard is helping your condition.
The cost varies in each patient so it can be discussed during the patient’s consultation. The cost of a nightguard includes all visits to the office, impressions, fittings, and check-ups on the device. Our office will help patients communicate with their dental insurance companies to determine their coverage and out-of-pocket costs.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
Effective treatment of sleep apnea alleviates the symptoms of loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches by giving you more sleep. With a custom mouthguard, you can breathe and sleep better for better physical health and a healthier state of mind. You will feel refreshed and rested every day.
Patients with sleep apnea are at higher risk for other serious medical conditions, including hypertension and heart conditions. So if you or your partner may observe sleep apnea on each other, schedule a consultation with your physician right away.
Dr. Rod Gore Main Office
Scottsdale, AZ 85255