Is your significant other tired of your loud snoring? Kalons & Glidewell DDS PA, General & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you get the help you need.
Snoring is a Red Flag for Serious Conditions
While snoring is extremely common, it can seriously impact the ability to get a good night of sleep. Snoring can be simply a loud nuisance, but it can also be an indicator that an airway is obstructed. Determining the severity of the snoring starts with an evaluation of the patient’s health history and physical features. The following are common signs of a compromised airway:
- Loud snoring followed by cessation of breathing
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Morning headaches
- Large tonsils/adenoids
- Large neck circumference
- Narrow lower jaw/large tongue
Based on the results of the evaluation, a determination will be made if a sleep study is necessary to determine what type of sleep disorder is involved. These sleep studies are remarkably simple to perform and they are done in the comforts of one’s own home. Upon completion, a board-certified sleep physician reads the results and gives a diagnosis.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Characterized by loud and frequent snoring, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat, blocking the upper airway despite one’s efforts to breath. Apnea is defined as “a cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more”. These episodes can happen up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than one minute. This constant interruption of sleep typically leads to excessive daytime sleepiness.
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening disease that can increase the risk for serious health problems. When the airway is compromised, oxygen saturation is reduced. This puts immense strain on the heart and leads to an increase in blood pressure. Over time, this can damage the heart and lungs, leading to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and several other co-morbidities.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea can be treated using several methods. The most commonly prescribed treatment is the use of CPAP therapy which involves wearing a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine. Because of its cumbersome nature, compliance of this therapy is poor. As an alternative, oral appliances can be an appealing and effective option for those intolerant to the use of CPAP.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) uses a mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. OAT devices prevent the airway from collapsing by supporting the lower jaw in a forward position. For many, oral appliance devices are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The devices are also quiet, portable and easy to care for. Research suggests that oral appliance therapy offers a higher patient compliance rate than CPAP. More than 100 different styles of oral appliance devices have received FDA clearance; we can help you find the right fit for your needs.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can reduce life expectancy by 10 years. 95% of people with OSA are undiagnosed- don’t let yourself become a statistic. We can help you get the care that you need. Consultations for Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy are complimentary. Call Today to Make an Appointment. Charlotte Dentist Office Phone Number 704-378-6591