Putting sleep apnea complications to rest, convenient, comfortable, and quiet treatment options
Dentists like Dr. Taylor Barton are often on the front lines of detecting problems that transcend the appearance and health of the teeth and gums. Dr. Barton and our team at Intentional Smiles in Edmond, Oklahoma, are among those select dental providers with the focused training and onsite capabilities to treat sleep-disordered breathing. One of the most common (and underdiagnosed) of these SDBs is sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most prevalent type. The source of this alarming condition is the oral tissues in the throat. Who better to treat those problems associated with these tissues than an expert in oral anatomy and function like Dr. Barton?
Don’t press the “snooze button” on treatment
Sleep-disordered breathing and “apneic events” generally occur due to the relaxation of the muscles and tissues in the throat. When these tissues relax, they may block the airway. You can’t breathe. Air can’t travel through narrowed passageways. These episodes of interrupted breathing occur repeatedly throughout the night. Due to the constant interruptions in breathing and rest, individuals with OSA are often chronically fatigued. They are at increased risk of sustaining workplace injuries or accidents when operating vehicles and other machinery.
Furthermore, your entire body can take a beating. The lack of proper oxygenation and restorative sleep can stress vital organs. In fact, OSA is a risk factor for a range of serious illnesses and conditions, from cardiovascular disease to diabetes.
Easy, comfortable alternatives to CPAP therapy
Fortunately, there are more options than ever before to quickly and efficiently resolve mild to moderate sleep apnea. A continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, has long been a “go-to” treatment. You may have seen or heard about these machines before — they’re the ones that include a mask placed over the nose during sleep.
The machine delivers continuous air pressure through the mask, which helps to keep those troublesome upper airway passages open.
While CPAP is considered an effective apnea treatment, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reports only half of the patients recommended for this type of therapy continued to use the machine a year later.
Common reasons cited by patients who reportedly stopped using CPAP include:
- The mask was uncomfortable
- Nasal dryness
- Pressure wasn’t tolerated
While CPAP is effective, it has to be used. Oral appliance therapy presents an option for those who cannot tolerate the noise and bulkiness of the CPAP machine. These small oral appliances are customized to fit your mouth and reposition the tissues responsible for your interrupted breathing and sleeping. These devices weigh very little, are discreet, and can easily be taken in and out of the mouth. There is little to no adjustment period. Furthermore, they travel easily with you and can fit within a small container. These devices can be easily cleaned, similar to how other oral appliances (like retainers) are cared for to prevent the overgrowth of bacteria.
When planned and overseen by professionals like our team at Intentional Smiles, these devices are built to last. Do one of the best things for your long-term health and quality of life today. If you suffer from habitual and loud snoring, morning headaches, dry mouth, and persistent fatigue, call us without delay – you just may have sleep apnea to blame for your concerns! Our team in Edmond, OK, may be reached at (405) 348-2266.
Do you snore excessively? Do you suffer from daytime fatigue? Do you awake during the night with shortness of breath? You may suffer from the life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. About 1 in every 15 Americans suffer from sleep apnea and it is a problem that many don’t even realize they might have. But what does this have to do with dentistry? Because sleep apnea is caused by an airway obstruction, the disorder can be treated through the mouth. The Thorton adjustable positioner, or Tap appliance is one of the more popular ways to treat sleep apnea. When the jawbone yes lax, the tongue and soft tissue obstruct the airway. The tap appliance advances the jaw bone, allowing the air to flow freely and making sleep more restful throughout the night. If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your dentist today about possible treatment options.