Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing are growing health concerns that can have a detrimental impact on your overall health and quality of life. Treating sleep apnea will improve sleep, reduce associated health risks and give you back lost energy and focus in your daily routine.
Dr. Dechter and Dr. Moy work with patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing to address mild to moderate symptoms with oral appliance therapy. Although the CPAP is considered the “gold standard” of treatment and recommended for more severe cases, oral appliance therapy has proven to be highly effective in patients with milder symptoms or who are intolerant of the CPAP.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even young children. However, there are certain risk factors that everyone should be aware of and discuss with your dentist. We screen for the common oral signs of sleep apnea during your routine visits and can coordinate further testing with your physician if needed.
Common risk factors include:
- Male gender
- Overweight, obese
- Large neck circumference
- Large tonsils
- High blood pressure
- Over the age 40
If you consider yourself at risk for sleep apnea it is important to schedule a visit and discuss your concerns. We can help you determine the need for further diagnosis and treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a sleep disorder could be life-saving. Sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders can cause you to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, momentarily depriving vital organs of oxygen. Over time, this impacts your daily life and overall health and causes the common signs of having a sleep disorder. These can include:
- Snoring, often loud
- Waking up gasping for air
- Feeling groggy in the morning or sleepy during the day
- Irritability, moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth in the morning
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
The use of an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea can alleviate symptoms and minimize health risks often associated with a sleep disorder. Dr. Dechter or Dr. Moy can create a custom fit oral appliance that will reposition the jaw to prevent the soft tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing and blocking the airway.
An oral appliance will fit much like a mouth guard and allows the wearer to speak and drink fluids while in place. Easy to transport, relatively comfortable and more discreet than the CPAP, patients who can benefit from an oral appliance are often more compliant with usage.