WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Obstructive sleep apnea, sometimes shortened to OSA or sleep apnea, is characterized as a continual cessation of breathing during sleep. A commonly occurring sleep-related condition, sleep apnea is caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back part of the mouth, which block airways up to several hundred times throughout the night. These brief moments of ceased oxygen intake can put a massive strain on the body and lead to a host of other issues, including cardiovascular problems, fluctuations in weight and mood, fatigue, high blood pressure, and memory loss.
Although there are a number of sleep apnea treatments that can improve the condition, these can be inconvenient or unpleasant. Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea could receive relief through oral appliance therapy offered at Oakridge Dental in Farmington, UT. Board-certified dentist Dr. Brian Call utilizes advanced techniques to improve your sleep apnea and help you enjoy peaceful sleep and improved overall health.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF SLEEP APNEA?
Adult patients who experience issues with severe sleep apnea are usually not good candidates to receive treatment with an oral-based solution. For these individuals, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine may be their best choice for relief. However, if you are experiencing mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy (OAT) may be an effective solution. Since sleep apnea is a serious health issue, it's important to receive treatment as soon as possible. This condition can cause the soft tissues in your soft palate and throat to collapse because your breathing is inhibited overnight.
Some symptoms that patients with sleep apnea may experience include:
- Morning headaches
- Weight gain
- Loud snoring
- Confusion and poor memory
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Daytime grogginess or fatigue
HOW IS SLEEP APNEA TREATed?
At Oakridge Dental, sleep apnea treatment makes use of oral appliance therapy, which can be incredibly effective for patients with less severe cases of sleep apnea. These devices are custom-crafted appliances that are worn while you sleep and are often comparable to that of a mouth guard worn for sports or a night guard for bruxism. However, the big difference is that rather than protecting your teeth from trauma, this oral device carefully sets the lower jaw into a forward position to keep the airway open. After speaking to you about your diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Call will help you decide if oral appliance therapy could be right for you. If this course is determined to be appropriate, we will then have 3D impressions of your mouth taken so your customized device can be created.
Once your dental appliance has been created, you will return to our office for your fitting. A member of our Oakridge Dental team will contact you to schedule a follow-up appointment. During this follow-up, Dr. Call will fit and adjust your oral appliance according to your feedback to make sure the fit is as comfortable as possible. He will then explain how to wear your sleep apnea appliance and go over the proper way to clean, store, and maintain it. Dr. Call will ask you to bring your mouthpiece to future appointments or come back every year to check for wear and tear. Your quality of life will dramatically improve if you follow our instructions correctly.
SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE ORAL SOLUTIONS
Sleep apnea is a major issue that can get in the way of much more than a good night's sleep. If you've been made aware of your nighttime snoring, feel groggy when you wake up, or frequently experience morning headaches, you may be exhibiting signs of sleep apnea. To conquer mild to moderate sleep apnea, speak to board-certified dentist Dr. Brian Call at his office in Farmington, UT. Our team at Oakridge Dental is pleased to offer safe and effective oral appliance therapy (OAT) to address your sleep apnea.