Sleep Apnea Treatment in Swanton, OH
Do you regularly wake up in the middle of the night choking or gasping for air? Or, have you been told you snore loudly? The cause of your snoring or lack of a good night’s rest might be sleep apnea. Characterized by cessations in breath during sleep, sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans. If left untreated, sleep apnea can affect multiple aspects of your life, including cognitive function, your ability to sleep well, and your overall health. Research shows sleep apnea increases the risk of potentially serious health conditions including stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, or suspect that you might have the condition, you don’t have to miss out on a good night’s rest anymore. At Dental Health Associates, our dentists are some of the few serving Swanton and the surrounding area with the training and experience needed to effectively treat sleep apnea. In addition, our trusted dentists work with one of the top sleep specialty clinics in the area to help hundreds of patients enjoy a good night’s rest.
Understanding Sleep Apnea and Its Symptoms
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The most common form of the condition, OSA occurs when the airway passage is blocked by excessive tissue at the back of the tongue, throat or nose.
Central sleep apnea: This type is a result of the brain failing to send the proper signals to the muscles responsible for breathing.
Mixed sleep apnea: This is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Chronic headaches
- Decreased cognitive function (e.g., memory)
- Dry or sore mouth
- Irritability or mood swings
Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed, as many patients are unaware that there is a problem. In other cases, the symptoms of sleep apnea are misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis and treatment is crucial to minimize the effects and risks associated with sleep apnea.
Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a sleep specialist. Dental Health Associates works with a top sleep specialty clinic that is expertly trained and experienced in diagnosing the condition. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, our team of sleep specialists will meet with you to evaluate your symptoms and medical history. Then we will have you take a sleep study, which involves using a machine to track your brain activity, eye movements, breathing patterns and other vitals. We will evaluate this information in order to determine the type and severity of your sleep apnea.
Traditional treatment for sleep apnea involves using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to keep the airway open while you sleep. CPAP machines have some disadvantages, however. Many patients have described CPAP machines to be bulky, loud and uncomfortable. For this reason, some patients do not use their CPAP machine and get the proper treatment needed for their sleep apnea. Fortunately, modern advances in medicine have made way for less invasive treatment options, including oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy involves wearing an upper and lower device with a similar design of a mouth guard that keeps the lower jaw or tongue in a forward position to prevent them from collapsing at the back of the throat and blocking the airway passage. Oral appliances are small, portable and generally well-tolerated.
The first step towards better sleep is to schedule a consultation with Dental Health Associates. To speak to a member of our team, contact our Swanton dental practice today.