Do you consistently jerk awake from a deep sleep because you’re choking? Does your partner continually complain about your loud snoring? You may have a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. It’s fairly common, especially among men. But you don’t have to go looking for a specialist to treat your problem. Your family dentist at Albany County Dental Associates is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. With the proper device, a good night’s sleep is within reach.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder. This condition causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing in your sleep. When you have this condition, your throat muscles block your airway at times while you’re asleep. If you snore, it may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. There are several sleep apnea treatment options that include using:
- A machine that opens your airway during sleep
- A dental appliance for sleep apnea
Because this condition is potentially serious, finding a form of obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works for you can keep you strong and healthy, while allowing you to get the rest you need. Talk to your dentist at Albany County Dental Associates — the dental team has received special training in the best treatment for sleep apnea.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common type of sleep disorder is called obstructive sleep apnea. This can be very serious because it causes your throat muscles to relax while you’re sleeping, thus blocking your airway. While the most noticeable indication that you have obstructive apnea is snoring, you or your partner may not realize the severity.
The Mayo Clinic offers other signs of sleep apnea that can help you and your dentist come to a definitive diagnosis. These include:
- Being tired during the day
- Waking up with a headache
- Choking or coughing during sleep that wakes you up
- Having a sore throat or dry mouth on waking
- Concentration becomes difficult during the day
- Changes in mood to irritability or depression
- Increased blood pressure
- Lowered sex drive
- Sweating during the night
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
If you’ve been diagnosed, determining the best treatment for sleep apnea in your case depends on the severity of your condition. The severity is based on the number of apnea events that you have each hour — that is, the number of times your breathing is paused or interrupted every hour during the night. Your dentist may order a sleep study test, during which you spend the night in a clinic that monitors your breathing and apnea episodes.
Sleep apnea treatment options include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Using a CPAP machine is usually recommended for severe sleep apnea treatment and may also be used for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
- Dental device for sleep apnea. A dental mouthpiece for sleep apnea is an option for moderate and mild sleep apnea treatment.
How an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Works
If you need mild sleep apnea treatment, the application of a well-fitting and maintained oral appliance may be the best form of obstructive sleep apnea treatment for you. An oral dental appliance for sleep apnea can assure a restful night of sleep for both you and your partner.
An obstructive sleep apnea dental appliance works by pushing the lower jaw slightly forward. This helps prevent throat muscles and tissues from collapsing during sleep and blocking the airway. Your Albany-area dentist custom-fits this device to you and then fine-tunes the mouthpiece for maximum effectiveness.
Dental Device for Sleep Apnea
When considering your sleep apnea treatment options, find a form of treatment that’s effective but is also something you’ll continue to use. Although using a CPAP is very effective for treating sleep apnea, some people find that wearing the device is noisy or uncomfortable. As a result, they discontinue using it.
When you have moderate or mild sleep apnea, you may find that a dental appliance is a good alternative solution. It’s a custom-fitted mouthpiece that’s easy to use, making it more likely that you’ll use it regularly. Regular use leads to better sleep for both you and your partner. It may also improve your quality of life.
Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Dentist Recommendations
The sleep apnea dental appliance cost is usually lower than the cost of CPAP sleep apnea treatment. The American Sleep Association reports that the sleep apnea dental appliance cost averages between $1,800 and $2,000, which includes the cost of the device as well as dental visits and adjustments. This cost may be covered by your health insurance.
Your Albany County dentist is a sleep apnea dental appliance dentist. Since he’s also your family dentist, so he knows your history and background. Warning signs of developing sleep apnea include:
- Chronic sinus congestions
- Obesity with excess fat buildup around your airway
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Gender, as men are more prone to sleep disorders than women
- Diseases such as diabetes and asthma
- A family history of sleep apnea