Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea is quite common. It affects millions and is life-threatening, putting people at higher risks for several debilitating conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, learning and behavioral disorders in children, and death. Expressions Dental works closely with sleep physicians and clinics to diagnose and assist in treating many sleep breathing disorders.
Diagnosing of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Restorative sleep occurs only when one relaxes into deep, slow-wave sleep as well as REM, or dream sleep. If you snore, or have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the constant arousals from sleep fragmentation do not allow the important deep and dream sleep to occur. These disruptive sleep cycles can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. In addition, research shows that obstructive sleep apnea puts you at higher risk for problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, gastric reflux, as well as having a higher incidence of work related and driving related accidents due to cognitive dysfunction and fatigue.
OSA is a serious medical condition. Dr. Clary, at Expressions Dental, is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and can evaluate and screen for OSA through patient questioning and examination. If we find a concern, we may refer you for an overnight sleep study called a Polysomnogram (PSG). Additionally, our office works with EZSleep and Blackstone to allow our patients the options of completing a 2-night sleep study in the comfort of their own home. This process is simple and painless, and the results received tend to be more accurate. Dr. Clary will work with your physician as part of the medical team in your diagnosis, treatment, and on-going care.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Good sleep, hygiene, weight loss, and exercise are some helpful OSA treatments a patient can practice on their own. However, medical and dental treatments include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Oral Appliance Therapy.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is pressurized air generated from a bedside machine. The air is delivered through a tube connected to a mask covering the nose. CPAP therapy may be indicated for people who have been diagnosed with severe cases of sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy involves the selection, fitting, and use of a specially designed oral appliance worn during sleep that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat. According to the practice parameters of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, oral appliances are a recommended first-line treatment option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea and for patients who simply cannot tolerate wearing a CPAP mask. Oral Appliance Therapy is also an excellent option for patients who snore. Dr. Clary, at Expressions Dental, has extensive training and experience in oral appliance therapy and is familiar with the various designs of appliances. He can determine which one is best suited for your specific needs.
Sleep apnea and snoring are treatable. Call Expressions Dental today if you or someone you know could benefit from the services we have to offer that can help you get a better night’s sleep and improve your health.