Sleep Apnea Treatment in Cleveland, TN
Sleep apnea occurs when an individual’s breathing is disrupted during sleep. Those suffering from untreated sleep apnea stop breathing at various points throughout the night, causing them to awaken. In serious cases, a person will stop breathing hundreds of times. This irregular breathing pattern can lead to insufficient oxygen supply to the brain and other body parts. As a result, sleep apnea can have dangerous complications, including cardiac issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and depression, among other conditions. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer sleep apnea treatment to help you breathe easy.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
This disorder manifests in two primary forms: obstructive and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the more common type, happens when airway passages are blocked, often due to the collapse of soft tissues in the throat during sleep. In contrast, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing. This is due to problems in the part of the brain that regulates breathing.
Anyone can experience sleep apnea, although it is more common in men and people over the age of 40. Being overweight also increases the risk, as well as having a large neck, a family history of sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux, and breathing issues from allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are various symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea that can significantly impact daily life and overall health. Recognizing these symptoms is the first step toward seeking effective sleep apnea treatment. Common symptoms include:
- Loud snoring: While snoring can be common for many individuals, those with OSA often snore louder and more persistently. Snoring may even disrupt sleep for others.
- Episodes of pauses in breathing: This is often reported by a sleeping partner where the individual with OSA stops breathing for short periods during sleep.
- Gasping for air during sleep: This is a reflex response to resume breathing after an apnea episode.
- Morning headaches: Frequent morning headaches can be a result of reduced oxygen levels during the night.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness: Individuals with OSA often experience daytime fatigue and drowsiness due to restless sleep.
- Difficulty concentrating: Sleep disturbances can lead to problems with attention, concentration, and memory.
- Irritability: Mood swings or irritability can be a result of the stress and fatigue caused by poor sleep quality.
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat: This occurs due to breathing through the mouth while sleeping.
Recognizing these symptoms is crucial as OSA can lead to prevent more serious health problems.
While CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are a common treatment for sleep apnea, dentists can provide alternative or complementary treatments, especially for patients with mild to moderate OSA. These dental approaches to sleep apnea treatment focus on maintaining an open, unobstructed airway during sleep.
- Oral appliance therapy: One of the most effective treatments that we offer for sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. These custom-fit appliances are designed to keep the throat open. Appliances like mandibular advancement devices (MADs) gently pull the lower jaw forward and downward slightly, keeping the airway open. This is helpful in treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Tongue-retaining devices: Another type of oral appliance is the tongue-retaining device. It holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open. For patients who cannot comfortably use a mandibular advancement device, this may be a viable alternative.
An essential aspect of sleep apnea treatment through dental approaches is the continuous follow-up and adjustment of the oral appliance. Over time, the device may need to be adjusted or replaced to ensure maximum effectiveness and comfort. That’s why it’s important to visit an experienced sleep-disorder dentist. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we have treated sleep apnea for many years.
Getting an Oral Appliance
At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, our procedure for providing an oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment is thorough and patient-centric, often involving coordination with a sleep specialist. The journey begins with an initial consultation with one of our experienced dentists who specializes in sleep apnea treatment. During this visit, we will review your medical history, symptoms, and any previous sleep study results. If you haven’t participated in a sleep study, we may refer you for one to confirm the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea.
Following a confirmed OSA diagnosis, our next step is to select the most suitable oral appliance. This decision takes into account factors like the severity of your OSA, your jaw structure, and your personal comfort. Our oral appliances are custom-designed for each patient. We take detailed impressions of your teeth and precise measurements of your jaw to guarantee a perfect, comfortable fit.
Once the appliance is ready, you’ll have a fitting session. During this visit, we will adjust the appliance to ensure its effectiveness and comfort. Additionally, we will provide comprehensive guidance on how to wear and care for your appliance. Regular follow-up visits are an essential aspect of our treatment process. These appointments allow us to track your progress, make any necessary adjustments to the appliance, and assess the success of the sleep apnea treatment.
Throughout this entire process, we maintain a close partnership with a sleep specialist, ensuring a holistic approach to care. Our custom-fitted oral appliance offers a significant improvement in sleep quality and overall health for individuals with OSA, presenting a non-invasive and effective option for those who prefer an alternative to CPAP therapy. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to providing personalized and effective solutions for sleep apnea, improving our patients’ quality of life.
Breathe Easy With Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dentists play a crucial role in the management and treatment of sleep apnea. Our team of experts at The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry provides custom-made oral appliances, continuous care, and lifestyle advice as part of a comprehensive sleep apnea treatment plan. If you are struggling with sleep apnea, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several effective strategies lifestyle changes that can help you control sleep apnea. Lifestyle adjustments such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol can significantly improve symptoms. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, sleeping on your side instead of your back, and elevating your head can also help. For mild sleep apnea, adhesive breathing strips can help reduce snoring.
Whether a dental mouthpiece is as effective as a CPAP machine depends on the severity of the sleep apnea and individual preferences. CPAP machines are typically recommended for moderate to severe sleep apnea, as they provide a continuous flow of air to keep the airway open. Dental oral appliances are generally more suitable for mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are less intrusive and easier to use, making them a preferred choice for some patients. However, the effectiveness of each treatment varies from person to person, so it’s important to work with an experienced sleep-disorder dentist to determine the best option for you.
Insurance coverage for a sleep apnea oral appliance often depends on the your insurance plan and the severity of their sleep apnea. Many insurance companies do cover these devices, especially if the sleep apnea is diagnosed as moderate to severe and if you have difficulty tolerating a CPAP machine. However, coverage levels and out-of-pocket costs can vary.
It’s helpful to check with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your policy, including deductibles and copayments. Our experienced staff can also help you understand your plan’s coverage. Additionally, we offer financing options to help you manage treatment costs.
At your free consultation, we will discuss insurance and financing so that you can make an informed decision.