Sleep Apnea Treatment – Ormond Beach, FL
How Do You Treat Snoring?
Snoring affects millions of people of all ages, both male and female. Oral appliance therapy is the most common treatment for the most severe snoring problems. Treatment procedures range from changing your sleep patterns to utilizing orthodontic-related appliances that help open the airways during sleep. If you believe you might benefit from sleep apnea treatment, contact our office to schedule an appointment today.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when you cease breathing for 10 seconds or more as a result of a blocked airway. When this happens, your brain is triggered in a way that will allow it to alert your body to its need to breathe. This often results in a person waking up gasping or choking for air. This can happen once or hundreds of times each night, causing an individual’s blood pressure to rise and fall over and over again. This is a dangerous cycle that if left untreated, can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
How is Snoring Related to Sleep Apnea?
As we mentioned earlier, sleep apnea happens when an airway becomes blocked. When a person snores, the soft tissues and throat collapse, partially blocking your airway. While chronic snoring is one of the leading symptoms of sleep apnea, it doesn’t always mean that if you snore, you have sleep apnea. Snoring is often associated with people who may be obese or overweight, which can also contribute to an increased chance of developing sleep apnea.
Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring is caused by the vibrations of your soft and/or hard tissue palates; these vibrations occur because of increasingly narrow air passages. When air passes through these passages, a “flapping” sound occurs because the tissue is soft in nature. Surgery (to alleviate the snoring) is not always successful, however, because the sound may not originate from the soft palate; the snoring sometimes originates from tissues in the upper airway.
- Health problems
- Obstructed nasal passages – deviated septum
- Poor muscle tone of the tongue
- Daytime fatigue
- Sleep apnea
Our doctor can evaluate you to determine if a snoring appliance is the best solution for your snoring. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Apart from sleep deprivation, sleep apnea can cause a variety of health-related conditions to develop. Some of these include:
- Heart disease (stroke, heart attack)
- Negative cognitive brain function (dementia or Alzheimer’s)
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Acid reflux
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many dentists and doctors have spent years treating patients suffering from sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. Although effective and beneficial at treating the condition, it is often found to be difficult to use, maneuver, and uncomfortable to wear. Don’t forget the bulky hardware and machine that come with the CPAP.
An alternative method that is much less invasive and more user-friendly is oral appliance therapy. These small, compact, and portable devices are easy to wear. Designed to look like a mouthguard, you simply slip it into your mouth before you go to sleep. The way they are customized to fit your mouth allow these devices to shift your jaw forward to keep your airway open while you sleep.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Although sleep apnea may be a common disorder experienced by millions of Americans like yourself, it doesn’t diminish the current problems you’re facing and questions you have about your own inability to achieve adequate sleep. At Brown & Nawrocki Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry, we strive to provide our patients with as much information as possible concerning their sleep apnea so that the right method of treatment may be used to improve symptoms and ultimately, achieve a better quality of life. While you may likely wish to schedule a consultation with us to discuss further, we invite you to review the following frequently asked questions. This will hopefully help you better understand the details surrounding sleep apnea and why it’s important to seek professional help.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Unless you have a partner who can tell you that your snoring keeps them awake at night or that you suddenly stop breathing while asleep, you may be unaware of the other symptoms that often point to sleep apnea. Some of these include:
- Loud snoring
- Chronic fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Gasping or choking sensation that causes you to wake throughout the night
- Dry mouth or throat
- Lack of libido
You may not experience all of these symptoms, as each person is different, but if you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it is best to seek the help of a qualified professional who can recommend a sleep study and provide necessary treatment.
How long does the average sleep study take?
There are various types of sleep studies, so it’s not always easy trying to pinpoint an exact amount of time. Since some are completed in a lab and others at home, the duration may vary slightly. Typically, if you undergo a sleep study in a lab, it will take about 45 minutes to connect you to the devices and equipment that will monitor you throughout the night. In order to achieve appropriate results for a formal diagnosis, a doctor will need about six hours of recorded data to determine whether you have sleep apnea or not.
How can sleep apnea lead to cardiovascular problems?
One of the most common problems associated with sleep apnea is cardiovascular disease. When you cease breathing throughout the night, your brain must attempt to alert your body. As you suddenly wake (most likely gasping or choking to breathe), your heart rate and blood pressure are elevated, essentially working in survival mode. As you begin to calm down and these return to normal levels, the process can be repeated multiple times while you sleep. This up and down of your blood pressure can be detrimental to your health, resulting in a heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, or even heart failure.
Will I need to wear an oral appliance for the rest of my life?
While there is no definitive answer as to whether you will need to wear an oral appliance for the rest of your life, there are additional lifestyle changes you can make that will lessen your symptoms and have you achieving better sleep, such as:
- Exercising and losing weight
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients
- Embracing cessation resources to quit smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Lessening your stress by practicing meditation, speaking to a counselor, or finding alternative ways to relax
How can I know if my oral appliance is working?
If you want to know the number one you can tell if your oral appliance is working, simply ask your partner. If your snoring ceases and you appear to breathe freely throughout the night, consider it a success. Your oral appliance is designed to minimize the symptoms and keep your airway open and void of any obstruction.
Other ways you will notice that it is working is in your energy levels, your ability to think clearly, and how you feel when you wake in the morning. When positive movement occurs in these areas, you can also expect your mood to improve drastically as well as your attitude toward life.