Sleep-related breathing disorders impact a significant portion of the population. increasing the risk of health complications such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes; in addition to reducing the quality of life for a significant portion of the population and their significant others.
Approximately 25 million people in the United States have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing multiple times a night, sometimes for just a few seconds and sometimes for more than a minute. It’s a chronic condition that happens when the muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue in the airway to collapse and restrict the amount of oxygen entering the body.
When the soft tissues collapse, they may touch each other and vibrate, which creates the sound of snoring. Men tend to snore more than women. Obesity, nasal obstruction, smoking, and alcohol consumption can all increase the risk of snoring.
If you or somebody you love suffers from snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), call our sleep apnea dentist, DR. ANDREA DIAZ, today. Unlike the CPAP machine, which typically includes a mask that covers the nose and mouth, DR DIAZ can custom-fit an oral sleep appliance that is worn in the mouth like a sports mouth guard.
The appliance supports the jaw in a forward position to help keep the airway open. There are several types of oral appliances available; our sleep apnea dentist will determine the best one for your specific needs.
Our sleep apnea dentist DR DIAZ will create either a digital or a physical model of your teeth and send it to the dental lab where the appliance will be made. Once it comes back, the dentist will make sure it fits comfortably and show you how to care for it.
How Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
A person is typically diagnosed with sleep apnea after undergoing a sleep evaluation. This may involve an overnight stay at a sleep center where your breathing can be continually monitored. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a home sleep apnea test instead. The sleep doctor will interpret the data and determine whether you have sleep apnea.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Your doctor or sleep specialist will discuss the treatment options for sleep apnea that are available for you. There are three main options:
CPAP Therapy: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) involves wearing a mask that is connected by a tube to an oxygen machine.
Oral Appliance Therapy: This mouthguard-like appliance is crafted by our dentist and is worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
Sleep Apnea Surgery: A surgeon trims excess tissue from the throat, removes the tonsils, or uses another surgical option to make the airway wider.
If sleep apnea is not treated, it can raise your risk for serious health problems including excessive fatigue, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment (OAT)
The greatest benefit of Oral Appliance Therapy for sleep apnea is that is helps you breathe easily throughout the night so you wake up feeling refreshed. Our patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
Easy to wear
Convenient when traveling
Getting a good night’s sleep so you awake feeling refreshed and rested can make an immediate difference in your quality of life. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, call our sleep apnea dentist Dr. Diaz today to find out if oral appliance therapy is the right choice for you.