A full night’s sleep is essential to your overall health. When well rested, you feel good and can function at your best. According to statistics, approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and more than three times that number snore. At the office of Zwahlen and Marshall Family Dentistry, we provide care to address these issues so that you can enjoy a safe and uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder involving repeated pauses in breathing while asleep. The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when there is an obstruction of an individual’s airway that interferes with the flow of oxygen through the nose or mouth during sleep.
In someone afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of the throat and mouth relax during sleep to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and create a blockage that restricts breathing.
The signs and symptoms of this disorder during sleeping hours may include loud snoring, episodes of breathing cessation, abrupt awakenings, gasping for air, and difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. An individual with sleep apnea will exhibit problems during the day as well. Sleep apnea can lead to a morning headache, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Furthermore, suffering with sleep apnea can be associated with other medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and heart issues, gastric reflux, and depression.
A sleep study conducted by a physician can determine the presence and severity of the disorder. The results of this study and other medical findings will play a role in determining the recommended therapy.
One common form of therapy for obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP machine worn while sleeping. This device provides a steady stream of pressurized air into the respiratory system through a mask.
Oral appliances are often prescribed in cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea or snoring. Worn like a mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer, an oral appliance helps keep the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing, enabling the airway to remain open and patent during sleep.
With several designs available, the appliance selected depends on each person’s unique requirements and needs. However, the treatment goals remain the same; to reduce the incidence and duration of apneas, hypopneas, and snoring.
When it comes to Dental Sleep Medicine, you can rely on our office for the skilled, experienced, and reliable care you require. Treatment, including selecting and constructing each appliance, is based on a complete analysis of your needs, oral anatomy, and precise impressions of your teeth.
Our appliances combine maximum effectiveness and comfort to help ensure you get a safer, more restful, and restorative night’s sleep. Beyond the design, fabrication, and calibration of each appliance, we also do the periodic monitoring and recalibration needed to optimize the health benefits and maintain the integrity of your smile.
Did you know that as many as one in two individuals with sleep apnea don’t know they have it? If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our office today!