Do you snore loudly? Do you often wake up still feeling groggy or tired? Is it becoming more difficult to concentrate during the day?
If you could answer “yes” to any or all of these questions, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can cause a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. Sleep-related concerns and OSA are growing health problems affecting the daily lives of millions of people. Dr. Thompson offers treatment for snoring and sleep apnea in our Greeley dental practice. We provide relief from symptoms, and improved overall health and well-being.
What is Sleep Apnea?
There is a range of sleep disorders and several types of sleep apneas. It is important to be properly screened, tested, and diagnosed by a sleep medicine professional to reduce associated health risks and improve your daily quality of life. Your dentist in Greeley, CO screens for the oral signs of sleep apnea during routine dental exams and works with at-risk patients to coordinate sleep testing as needed.
Sleep apnea refers to a repeated cessation of breathing while asleep that is the result of soft tissue collapsing into the airway at the back of the throat. There are both genetic and lifestyle factors that can contribute to sleep apnea and being aware of your risk can help you receive the care you need. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type and is more prevalent among patients who may be overweight or who consume alcohol or tobacco. Some patients find relief from snoring with moderate lifestyle changes that reduce the effects of these common factors. But for many others, professional help is needed to stop the snoring and effectively reduce the health risks associated with snoring and OSA.
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring, especially loud snoring. Patients suffering from sleep apnea often awaken feeling tired and groggy- as if they didn’t get enough sleep. It can not only interfere with one’s ability to get a good night’s rest, but it can also lead to more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Common signs of sleep apnea can include:
- Snoring or waking up gasping for air
- Feeling groggy during the day or upon waking
- Increased irritability or moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth in the morning
How is sleep apnea treated?
The “gold standard” for treating sleep apnea, especially if considered a serious health risk for the patient is the CPAP. The CPAP is used when sleeping and opens the airway to enable normal breathing. Dr. Thompson offers an alternative to the CPAP for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or those intolerant of the CPAP.
Thompson Advanced Dentistry provides oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Oral appliance therapy is a custom mouthguard-like appliance that is worn nightly to address the symptoms of sleep apnea. Designed to reposition the jaw and prevent the collapse of soft tissue in the throat, a sleep appliance can provide convenient and effective treatment for sleep disorders.
Schedule A Sleep Apnea Screening in Greeley
If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea or have been diagnosed and want to discuss treatment options schedule a visit with Dr. Thompson in Greeley, CO. He can examine your oral health, discuss your medical history and offer appropriate treatment recommendations.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Can sleep apnea be dangerous?
Yes, severe obstructive sleep apnea can be detrimental to your health. The soft tissues collapsing in the back of your throat block off your airway, causing a restriction of airflow to your brain and other organs. Side effects of sleep apnea can also be depression, anxiety, irritability, and others. In addition, long-term issues related to sleep apnea include diabetes, heart disease, and even death.
Am I more at risk for sleep apnea?
Certain factors do put you more at risk for sleep apnea. A family history of sleep apnea, being male, and being older can all contribute to having sleep apnea. Obesity, smoking, and alcohol use can all put you more at risk for sleep apnea.
What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy?
The CPAP machine is cumbersome and many patients can’t find relief with it. It’s often not comfortable and interrupts sleep because it’s noisy. Oral appliance therapy offers an alternative. It’s much easier to transport and more subtle when you’re traveling. The appliance is similar to a mouthguard and is more comfortable to wear throughout the night.