Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?
You’re not alone. It’s estimated that more than 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea with 80% of them going undiagnosed. Leaving sleep apnea untreated can lead to very serious health issues such as sudden death, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressures, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, dementia, depression, poor concentration, impaired memory, and more.
Besides smiling, speaking, and eating, we use our mouths for other functions including taking in air (breathing). Numerous medical advancements in the last decade have brought to light new information and knowledge in the area of sleep medicine, particularly the never thought of connections between our mouth, breathing, and sleeping. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a conditions describing individuals who have difficulty breathing during sleep due to a collapsing airway, has been fairly well understood for 30+ years and has been routinely treated solely in the realm of medicine by sleep medicine specialists.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Frequent, loud snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Chronic exhaustion even after a full night’s sleep
- Gasping, choking or snorting during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- High blood pressure
- Poor memory, moodiness or difficulty concentrating
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
Some patients undergo surgery to create a larger breathing space though by far the majority of patients receive a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine and experience a larger breathing space during sleep. CPAPs are considered the gold standard treatment of sleep apnea and Alamo Dental Health encourages its patients to use their CPAPs as much as possible. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life some patients simply can’t tolerate the CPAP and are receiving insufficient help or no help from their air machine. These patients are great candidates for alternative treatments such as surgery and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) with a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). These oral devices are designed to be worn during sleep only to hold the lower jaw in a comfortable position and improve the passing of air. They are durable and are expected to last many years. Ask our office about Medical Insurance reimbursement for this treatment!
In order to be treated for sleep apnea, we require our patients take a sleep study for us to properly study their sleep patterns and habits. Here at Alamo Dental Health, we’re proud to provide our patients with home sleep tests where we provide you with a machine that you take home and use overnight in your own home. No more dreading going to a sleep lab. We can get the information we need to help you while you sleep comfortably in your own bed.