For many people, snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Blocked or narrowed airways cause sleep apnea and may be due to large tonsils, a large tongue, or the jaw structure. OSA occurs when the tongue and soft palate collapse onto the back of the throat, blocking the upper airway. Lima Oral Sleep Center is here to help! In conjunction with a board certified sleep physician, we can fit you with an FDA approved oral appliance to help you manage snoring and sleep apnea.
A common sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a potentially life threatening condition, is loud and frequent snoring. Additional symptoms include:
- Tooth Grinding
- Gasps & Choking Sensation During Sleep
- Daytime Fatigue
When left untreated, OSA can increase the risk of serious health problems such as:
- Congestive Heart Failure
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) estimates that 22 million U.S. adults suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which causes them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night from anywhere between a few seconds to more than a minute. ASAA estimates that 80% of moderate and severe OSA cases remain undiagnosed. OSA can be controlled with appropriate treatment.
Let Us Help You Enjoy a Soothing and Safer Sleep
If you feel you might suffer from sleep apnea and/or habitual snoring, visit your physician or board certified sleep physician. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can only be diagnosed by a board-certified sleep physician. If you learn that you do have OSA, you may be a candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy and can be treated in conjunction with your physician. Our doctor is trained in dental sleep medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), the national society dedicated to the practice of dental sleep medicine.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea treated?
The most common treatment for OSA has been Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). During sleep, the patient is connected to a machine that blows sufficient air into a mask to keep the airway from collapsing.
While CPAP is the standard treatment, up to 50% of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate CPAP for a variety of reasons, including:
- Difficulty Traveling With CPAP Device
- Mask Discomfort
- Air Leaks
- Dry Mouth
Following diagnosis, patients are advised to make lifestyle changes and some may be treated surgically to correct the compromised airway function.
A Better Night’s Sleep with Oral Appliance Therapy
At Lima Oral Sleep Center, we treat our patients who suffer from mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea with oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a “mouth-guard-like” device worn only during sleep in order to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. In comparison with the CPAP machine, patients like the oral appliance because it is easy to wear, comfortable, quiet, easy to care for and portable. Studies by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine have also shown a higher patient compliance rate – as high as 75%!
Just like with the CPAP machine, oral appliance therapy can generally have some minor side effects, most of which improve within a few weeks. Common side effects include:
- Excessive Salivation
- Muscle & Tooth Discomfort
- Occasionally Joint Discomfort
There is a chance for more adverse side effects of oral appliance therapy that are uncommon but can include:
- Slight Tooth Movement
- Permanent Changes In Bite
- Ongoing Muscle Soreness
- Loosening of Dental Restorations
If you believe you may suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, contact our office today!