Do you wake up frequently during the night despite a well-established sleep routine? Does your partner complain about you snoring— or do they tell you that you gasp for air during sleep? You may have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that disrupts your ability to sleep and even breathe. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be life-threatening.
Sleep apnea symptoms don't just lead to nuisance tiredness and dry mouth in the morning. When left untreated, you can be more at risk for chronic health conditions like hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and heart attacks.
Until now, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine has been the only mainstream treatment for this disorder. And though it's effective, this machine is expensive, uncomfortable, and requires frequent maintenance to prevent any bacteria buildup. Not to mention, a CPAP machine is clunky and makes it hard to move freely in your own bed.
New studies have revealed safe and comfortable alternatives that are just as reliable as a CPAP machine. At Liberty Family Dentistry, we're proud to offer oral appliance therapy as an effective treatment for sleep apnea. To find out more about this alternative and to schedule your consultation, contact us today.
How does Sleep Apnea Occur — and Can it Be Prevented?
Sleep apnea can affect any person at any age, but some risk factors increase the likelihood of having this condition.
- Men are twice to three times more likely to have sleep apnea.
- Overweight people are more likely to have sleep apnea.
- Being over 40 years old increases the likelihood of developing this condition.
As you can see, many risk factors are out of a person's control. We can't help getting older, and a person can't help being born as a biological male or female. However, you can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle to stay within a healthy BMI to reduce your risk or the severity of sleep apnea. Then, if you still happen to develop this condition, you thankfully have access to safe and effective treatments, such as a dental appliance for sleep apnea.
How to get treatment
To make sure you need treatment for sleep apnea, you need to get an official diagnosis. This involves going to a sleep study where you will fall asleep and be observed by medical professionals. Then, once your physician observes the signs of this disorder, you can get an official diagnosis and assistance through insurance to get treatment — whether it's via a CPAP or through oral appliance therapy. Without a sleep apnea diagnosis, you won't have documentation to back up that you need treatment, which means you might have to pay for your CPAP or alternative therapies out of pocket.
What is oral appliance therapy?
At Liberty Family Dentistry, our physicians are trained to use oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea. This treatment involves using small, custom-made oral appliances that are simple to use and effective. Your sleep apnea dentist will make a mouthpiece that addresses the root of the problem by realigning your tongue and lower jaw. This opens your throat and promotes proper airflow as you sleep. They don't involve any tubes or headgear, plus they are easy to clean and maintain. Ready to stop searching for "sleep apnea dentist near me" on Google? Look no further than Liberty Family Dentistry.
Can oral appliance therapy treat every sleep apnea case?
The short answer is no, but oral appliance therapy can resolve the majority of sleep apnea symptoms. Let's break it down. There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Central - This represents less than 10% of all sleep apnea cases. This happens when your brain doesn't send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing, causing one to gasp for air during sleep.
- Obstructive- This is the most common type of sleep apnea. The tongue collapses into the throat during sleep, interrupting breathing and causing loud snoring.
- Complex- A combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy can treat or improve the symptoms of the most common type of sleep apnea- obstructive sleep apnea. Without treatment, when a person falls asleep, their tongue collapses into their throat, restricting airflow. Oral appliance therapy is a viable and effective treatment for this type of sleep apnea.
Suppose you have complex or central sleep apnea. In that case, you should consult your physician after the sleep study to determine if medications, a CPAP, or adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) are more effective solutions to safeguard your health.
Bloomington sleep apnea therapy near you
If you have an official sleep apnea diagnosis and want sleep apnea treatment without CPAP machines, we're here for you. Oral appliance therapy is a simple and comfortable way to improve or resolve your symptoms and can improve the majority of sleep apnea cases. To schedule your consultation, call Liberty Family Dentistry today at 812.732.0537 or request an appointment online.