I feel strongly about my role in improving the health and quality of my patients’ life beyond merely standard dental care. My team and I also offer innovative oral appliances for sleep apnea. These devices can seem like a miracle to people who’ve been suffering with sleep apnea and to their spouses who’ve had to put up with it. Once people start getting a good nights sleep their whole life changes, their energy level goes up, and life becomes more enjoyable.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which the breathing during sleep gets interrupted. It can be quite serious when breathing actually stops multiple times during the night. This is dangerous because it means the brain and body aren’t getting enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Here, the airway is blocked usually by soft tissue in the back of the throat that collapses during sleep. The second type is Central sleep apnea. Here, the airway is blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but the typical profile we see is an overweight male over 40 years old. He usually has a large neck but can also possess large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone. Gastroesophageal reflux is common in sleep apnea patients and the condition may also be hereditary. If left untreated, sleep apnea can have some serious side effects like high blood pressure, stroke, heart issues, diabetes, depression, worsening ADHD and even death can occur. Of course a general sluggishness during the day can occur for anyone who doesn’t sleep well for extended periods of time. So, how do you know if you might have sleep apnea? The most common symptoms are loud snoring, always feeling tired, trouble concentrating and staying awake during the day, headaches, waking at night with a choking sensation, excessive sweating at night, waking with a dry mouth, and depression.
People may not think of sleep apnea as a dental issue. However, thanks to innovative technology, we are now able to screen for sleep apnea right here in our office! The way this works is that we look at the position of the tongue. We know its position changes even more dramatically as you drift into sleep. So by viewing the tongue we can tell if you may experience airway blockages during sleep.
If the screening shows you do have sleep apnea there are several treatment options. Some options may include lifestyle changes such as losing weight. Using a Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machine at night, or wearing an oral appliance in your mouth at night time are other remedies. I believe in offering this screening because it is one way I can extend beyond basic dentistry to help my patients live a full and happy life. We are happy to offer a complimentary sleep apnea screening. Call us today to schedule your screening and learn more about treatment options that will change your life! 847-742-4214 or visit: https://dentalpassions.com/find-us/