What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing subconsciously while you are sleeping. It results in a reduction of airflow to the lungs. Sleep apnea is detrimental to your overall health and can be life-threatening. Without the steady flow of oxygen to your lungs your organs cannot function properly. Sleep apnea can arise from multiple factors including weight, age, size of airway and even genetics. What is most alarming is that cessation of breathing can occur anywhere from 5 to 30 times an hour and each time can last from several seconds to a few minutes. If left untreated sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and even cause a stroke.
How do I know if I have it?
Have you ever been told that you or someone you know snores a lot? Do you ever feel tired throughout the day or wake up feeling like you didn’t slept well? Do you wake up with sore jaw muscles and joints? This is far more common than you would even imagine. Have you ever discussed with any physician about the possibility that you may be suffering from sleep-disordered breathing? Sleep apnea is related to sleep-disordered breathing. There are many forms, some being more severe than others; but in dentistry today sleep appliances have become an excellent solution to this problem. People are sleeping better, breathing better, not snoring and are not at risk of more severe complications.
If you have any concerns about yourself or someone you know please do not hesitate to ask us to evaluate whether or not you are at risk for sleep apnea. More than 18 million American suffer from some form of sleep apnea, including women and children; you are not alone, and we can help alleviate your concerns.
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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first line of therapy for treating patients, however many are not able to comfortably sleep with such a device. Sleep apnea appliances can alleviated this compliance issue.
The appliances we make are custom fitted, removable while you are awake and are extremely comfortable. The best part about using a sleep appliance is it is the most conservative, non-surgical approach to treating your condition. We will work with your physician to come up with the best and safest plan for you. Once your sleep physician has prescribed you an appliance, many times we can use your medical insurance to help with treatment costs. This process is quick, easy and efficient. Then you will get back to sleeping well again, and most of all you will not be at risk for more dire complications.
What is the process to get my sleep appliance?
The first step to being evaluated for the potential need for a sleep appliance involves having your upper airway and sleeping habits studied. If we find that you are among the millions of people who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, we will talk with you about your options and go over the steps to getting fitted for a custom sleep appliance. This process is quite easy and really only involves taking an impression of your teeth. Then once your appliance has been fabricated we will assist you in how to use it, making sure it fits well and will monitor your progress using the device.
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