Obstructive sleep apnea is a life-threatening condition that affects millions of Americans on a nightly basis. The condition occurs when the airway becomes blocked while a person is asleep, causing them to gasp for air. Many people are not even aware that they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea unless a love one tells them they snore or exhibit periods in which they stop breathing. Most patients that experience sleep apnea do not wake during the events so they have no memory of any problems. Poor sleep quality many times is the primary sign. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, waking up with a headache, fatigue, obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and GERD or gastric reflux disease.
Prior to receiving any treatment, it is important that patients undergo a comprehensive airway evaluation. Dr. Broome can perform an in-office screening exam and determine if a referral to a qualified sleep physician would be in your best interest. There are a number of dental issues that point to possible airway issues, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Potential causes of sleep apnea include excess tissue at the back of the throat, enlarged tonsils, obesity, or an enlarged tongue. In many cases, patients can find effective treatment if a proper diagnosis is obtained. Oral sleep apnea appliances (OSA) look similar to a mouth-guard or retainer. It can be an excellent option and offer potentially life saving benefits for patients that can’t or will not utilize a CPAP device. CPAP therapy is considered the gold standard in sleep apnea therapy. Unfortunately, over 60% of patients with a CPAP device do not use it. That means there are millions of patients that risk their life every night when they go to sleep. OSA can provide a solution that many find more acceptable than a CPAP and also offers a more portable solution when they travel. This appliance is specifically selected based on each patients need and custom built uniquely for them. The appliance helps position the lower jaw forward and helps to maintain an open airway while you sleep.
For more information on obstructive sleep apnea treatments, visit WebMD.com.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an obstruction of the airway, please do not hesitate to contact the dental specialists at the Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry for an airway evaluation. Using our advanced digital technology, it is possible to evaluate the airway, obtain a digital impression of the patient’s mouth, and design and order a custom sleep apnea appliance. We are happy to provide referrals to professional sleep therapists when required.
Next, read about Sleep Apnea Screenings.Charlotte's Leading
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