What is Sleep Apnea
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disease that affects more than 18 million people. This life threatening disease needs to be recognized and treated in a way that is comfortable for patients in order to be successful. When you have this disease, you stop breathing between a few times to a few hundred times per night, depending on its severity.
Every time your breathing stops it could be for just a second or a few minutes. As this happens, your brain tells your body to wake up.
You may or may not feel as if you woke up or you may not be able to remember waking, but your body did not get the type of peaceful sleep it needs in order to function throughout the day.
CPAP and Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
The CPAP Treatment
Sleep apnea causes your heart to have to work harder as your blood and oxygen levels fall with every skipped breath. This puts you at risk for a heart attack and possibly death.
The most common treatment for this disease is CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. While this treatment is oftentimes successful, it is very obtrusive, making it difficult to use long-term.
For these patients, there are alternatives. A small dental appliance that is similar to a mouthguard can be worn to keep the airways open by adjusting the placement of the jaw and tongue, freeing the airway from any obstruction and making getting a full night's sleep much easier.
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy repositions the lower mandibular (jaw), moving it forward to allow for easier breathing. The appliance is custom made to fit your mouth to ensure the perfect adjustments to promote proper breathing while you sleep.
There are no noisy machines or bulky masks to wear, interrupting your sleep, giving you even more problems than you started with.
All that it requires is a retainer-like mouthguard that is placed in the mouth when you go to bed. By moving the lower jaw forward, you subsequently stabilize the other areas of your mouth that could be causing the snoring, including: your tongue, uvula, and palate. This opens up the airways, allowing air to come through without any vibrations.
How We Can Help With Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is often covered under medical insurance plans. At Century Dental, we will work with you to research your medical plan, and bill sleep apnea services to medical; thereby saving your dental benefits for other dental services.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to be treated for sleep apnea, please call our Hillsoboro office at (971) 708-1608 today.