Managing sleep apnea can seem like a daunting or overwhelming task upon first examination. However, advancements in dental technology have made it more convenient than ever before to live with this chronic condition. Keep reading to learn more from our O’Fallon sleep apnea dentists.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that this characterized by obstructed breathing while the patient is asleep. As the patient falls asleep, his or her oral tissues relaxed, and these tissues fall into the patient’s airway; it thus becomes difficult for the patient to inhale enough oxygen.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
The best way to determine whether you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep assessment with a professional. This will help to determine the extent and severity of your breathing obstruction.
There are a few common symptoms and side effects of sleep apnea for which you should also be on the lookout. If you notice, for example, that you are usually fatigued, or dealing with concentration and memory problems, these issues may be related to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea patients may also suffer from headaches due to poor sleep quality.
What kinds of treatments are available?
The goal in treating sleep apnea is to minimize the obstruction in the airway, so that the patient is able to inhale enough oxygen while asleep. The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is a called a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure;” this machine delivers a concentrated stream of air to the patient’s airway, via a face mask that the patient wears while asleep. The problem, for many patients, is that a CPAP machine is somewhat bulky and cumbersome to use.
That is why our team uses innovative, patient-friendly mouth pieces to help sleep apnea sufferers. These oral appliances are designed to guide the patient’s mouth and lower jaw into a position that facilitates easy breathing. We have found that CPAP oral appliances generally have higher treatment compliance rates than conventional CPAPs.
Our O’Fallon sleep apnea dentists will help you determine the right sleep apnea solution for your unique situation. The best way to get started is to call our office, or use the Contact Us page on our site to set up a consultation.