Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that occurs when breathing is stopped for ten or more seconds at a time. While most patients have some apnea events each night, patients who suffer from sleep apnea can have 100s of these events during sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you likely believe the only way to renew your health is to visit a sleep doctor and undergo CPAP therapies. Unfortunately, more than 50% of patients are found to be CPAP intolerant, unable to adjust to this treatment. Lucky for Lincoln dental patients at Olberding Dental, we have a comfortable, effective solution – oral appliance therapy. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, call our Lincoln dentist and team to schedule your appointment today.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Studies indicate that millions of people in the US have undiagnosed or misdiagnosed sleep apnea. Part of the reason this common sleep disorder is so often undiagnosed is the widely varying symptoms. Let our team or a local sleep doctor know right away if you experience any of these common warning signs of sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Exhaustion during the day even after adequate sleep
- Waking coughing, gasping, or wheezing
- Waking with sore throat, dry mouth, or hoarse voice
- Chronic morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Moodiness, irritability, and other changes in behavior
Adverse Health Effects Associated with Sleep Apnea
There are numerous adverse health effects associated with sleep apnea. Perhaps the most obvious is the serious detriment to health that occurs due to lack of sleep. People who are exhausted are more likely to become ill and be in accidents. In addition to severe exhaustion, sleep apnea also elevates blood pressure. Each time you experience an apnea event, your body triggers a panic reaction to restart breathing. This elevates blood pressure and places strain on your heart. This increases your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances offer many patients with obstructive sleep apnea a viable alternative to CPAP therapies. CPAP uses forced air to keep the obstructed airway clear during sleep. Oral appliances perform the same function by repositioning the jaw. If you’ve ever taken a first aid or CPR course, you likely remember that before you begin mouth to mouth you need to clear the airway. This involves tilting the head back and the jaw forward. This positioning places pressure on the throat muscles to open the airway. The same method is used for oral appliance therapy. Instead of simply repositioning the head to place pressure on the throat muscles, oral appliances are custom designed to shift the jaw forward, creating the necessary pressure on throat muscles to hold the airway open. This allows patients to breathe deeply and sleep soundly through the night.
State-of-the-Art Diagnosis & Treatment Planning
We use our 3D CT scanner to allow us to accurately diagnose sleep apnea and create a custom oral appliance to precise specifications. The 3D images we produce allow us to see exactly how the oral and facial structures are working together. When we create an oral appliance, we can use the CT scanner to ensure your airway is clear, so you can sleep soundly through the night.