Do you or your partner snore so loudly and frequently that it’s not only affecting your quality of sleep, but your quality of life during the day? Do you feel constantly tired and find it hard to stay awake during the day, even after getting a full night’s sleep? Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but find treatment with a CPAP machine intolerable, therefore ineffective? Dr. Case and our team at Family Dental Health would love to speak with you about non-invasive, oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common and dangerous sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans, while many cases remain undiagnosed. Because symptoms are largely present during sleep, many patients are unaware they suffer from this disorder that left untreated can have serious, even deadly consequences.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse, preventing the sufferer from breathing properly, or at all during sleep. There are many factors that increase your risk for developing sleep apnea:
- Over age 40
- Large neck
- Large tonsils
- Drink alcohol
- Use muscle relaxers or tranquilizers
Signs & symptoms
Some of the characteristics, signs, and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Choking or gasping for air
- Breathing disruptions
- Frequent sleep disruptions
- Frequent urination
- Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Chronic dry mouth or throat
- Headaches or migraines
- Depression, irritability, mood swings
- Weight gain
- Insomnia, nightmares
The only time the body can repair and heal itself is during sleep. So when patients with sleep apnea are not getting restful sleep night after night, it can take a serious toll on their health. Sleep apnea can contribute to and increase your risk for serious health complications, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Depression & anxiety
Because sleep apnea can cause insomnia, it can also contribute to death by automobile accident when the sufferer falls asleep at the wheel. It’s scary because it’s true. Do you see now how snoring can be a sign of something much more serious?
Oral appliance therapy
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a primary care physician, you would’ve likely been prescribed treatment with a CPAP machine. While highly effective and widely regarded as “The Gold Standard” for sleep apnea treatment, the machine is bulky, loud, invasive, and inconvenient, and many patients find it intolerable. Thankfully, at Family Dental Health, we offer a simple, non-invasive, affordable alternative with oral appliance therapy.
Oral appliance therapy uses a custom oral appliance that you wear like a mouth guard during sleep that repositions the jaw and prevents the airway from collapsing. We use the EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) oral appliance designed to both advance the mandible and open the bite, preventing snoring and allowing the user to breathe normally throughout the night. Oral appliance therapy has allowed our patients to get back their nights, their days, their health, and their lives!
Call your Portland Dentist today!
If you’re ready to take control of your sleep apnea, and your life with oral appliance therapy, you’ve come to the right place! If you have any questions about sleep apnea or would like to schedule an appointment with your Portland dentist – Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health – give us a call today at 503-977-3400.