These are all signs of a serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. To break it down, apnea literally means “without breath.” The obstructive variety of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in your throat close up, preventing you from breathing. This causes a person with sleep apnea to rouse multiple times throughout the night, robbing them of the restorative sleep they need.
Sleep is vital for all of us. Not only is it a time for our brain to refresh, it is also necessary for proper body function.
People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for:
Additionally, since you are not getting the sleep you need for good mental health, someone with sleep apnea is also more prone to depression, attention problems, and anxiety. Plus, being tired all the time increases the risk of an accident while driving and can even put your job and your relationship in jeopardy.
At FoxView Dental, you are so much more than a set of teeth to us! We are concerned about your overall health as well as your oral health.
At your check-ups, we will discuss your sleep habits and screen you for this condition. If we suspect that there might be a problem, we’ll recommend that you speak with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a sleep specialist.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have a few treatment options.
A common first-line therapy for sleep apnea is CPAP – continuous positive airway pressure. This therapy requires you to wear a mask while you sleep, which is hooked up to a machine that blows pressurized air into your airways all night long, keeping them open so you don’t stop breathing. While this treatment is effective, approximately half of all people are unable to remain compliant.
Some common problems people run into with CPAP therapy are:
Additionally, treatment with CPAP can be costly since the machine and/or its accessories are frequently not covered by insurance plans.
At FoxView Dental, we have another solution.
Oral appliance therapy can be used in place of CPAP for most patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dr. Chad will discuss your needs with you and consult with your other providers to create a custom-fitted oral appliance that you wear while you are sleeping. The appliance gently repositions your jaw to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing while you sleep, so you can breathe comfortably all night.
Since the appliance is custom made for you, it’s comfortable to wear. It’s easily portable, won’t limit your sleeping positions, doesn’t require electricity, and won’t disturb your partner!
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or you suspect that it might be an issue, please call our De Pere dental office today to schedule a consult with Dr. Chad. A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial, and we want to help you get there!