Do you or a loved one struggle with snoring or have difficulty breathing when asleep? Heavy snoring or obstructed breathing interferes with the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, thus depriving the brain and body of oxygen. Continuous episodes of disrupted breathing can lead to more than just fatigue; they have been linked to a wide range of negative consequences, such as weight gain, depression, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Fortunately, there are treatment options available, and you or your loved one does not have to suffer from inadequate rest any longer! This condition can literally be a matter of life or death.
At Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide innovative sleep apnea screening services to help our patients find the best solution for snoring and getting a good night’s rest. To learn about airway evaluation and treatment options for snoring and obstructive breathing, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment today!
What is Airway Obstruction?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airway becomes compressed, or obstructed thus limiting the individual’s breathing and reducing the amount of oxygen that can reach his or her brain.
The most common type of airway obstruction is called obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs because the tongue, muscles and tissue of the oral cavity relax and fall back in the throat and compress the airway, depending on how the individual sleeps, as well as his or her specific anatomy.
The less common cause is known as central sleep apnea, in which the brain signals are not properly reaching the muscles that control breathing while sleeping. Some people even suffer from a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Even a few seconds of airway obstruction can impact the natural breathing rhythm and result in the following symptoms:
- Trouble staying asleep
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or depression
- Low quality of sleep regardless of duration of sleep
Obstructed breathing can affect anyone at any age, regardless of body type; however, the following traits may increase the risk of developing this sleep disorder:
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- Age 40 and older
- A large neck
- Over-sized tonsils
- Over-weight/ Obesity
For more information on snoring treatment, visit WebMD.com.
Treatments for Breathing Easier
When a patient has a medical diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, our office can create a custom oral appliance that supports the lower jaw and positions it forward which keeps the airway open during sleep. A sleep appliance is similar to a mouth guard and is worn at night. The device, which is also known as a mandibular advancement device (MAD), is positioned in such a way that the mandible (lower jaw) is positioned forward slightly, just enough to keep the airway open for efficient breathing and to stop snoring.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) can also be used in addition to a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which is currently the gold-standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. However, more than 60% of all patients prescribed a CPAP do not consistently use it because it is uncomfortable or cumbersome. OAT is an ideal solution for those who travel or find CPAP devices difficult to use. Many patients find OAT is a much more convenient way to improve airflow and reduce apnea episodes.
Dr. Patrick Broome and his staff in Charlotte are specially trained in fabricating and fitting a sleep appliance for our patients. We can utilize our digital impression technique and order the specific appliance you needs. Screenings are quick and reliable, and oral appliances are custom-made and titrated (adjusted) to provide the exact position that is right for you. The appliance is softer on the inside, and more sturdy on the outside, using durable, BPA-free material.
Life-Saving Treatment for Obstructed Breathing
Sleep apnea and heavy snoring are more than an inconvenience; they can be life-threatening disorders. Proper treatment is crucial for reducing the risk of serious health issues and even fatigued driving. If you are interested in a sleep apnea screening or snoring treatment, please do not wait to contact Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry online or by giving us a call at (704) 364-4711 today.
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