Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing hundreds of times per night. Symptoms include chronic snoring, fatigue, and fitful sleep. If you have recently received a diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea from your general doctor or a sleep physician, that’s actually good news. It means a treatment and solution are on the way. Sleep dentist Dr. William Langston can treat obstructive sleep apnea at Long Creek Dental -- keep reading to find out more about sleep apnea therapy in Sunnyvale, TX.
People dealing with sleep apnea in Sunnyvale should not ignore their symptoms. Left untreated, sleep apnea takes a serious health toll -- and, in the worst cases, it can result in premature death. Sleep apnea deprives your brain of oxygen every time breathing is interrupted; that can be anywhere from five to 100 interruptions per hour. Over time, that equals a lot of lost air. Sleep apnea has been linked to serious conditions, including heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and others.
Obstructive sleep apnea is far more likely to occur in patients who are overweight or obese. When weight is the primary cause of the sleep disorder, your doctor will advise you to combine formal sleep apnea therapy with a weight loss regimen for maximum effectiveness and healthier living overall.
The most common method for treating obstructive sleep apnea is with a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine. It is a small facial mask that works by forcing air into the lungs throughout the night, preventing the collapse of the tongue and lower jaw to keep the airway clear during sleep.
The CPAP needs water to function, and many models emit a slight noise while in use. The machine is made up of three parts:
When CPAP therapy is effective, it provides significant relief from sleep apnea symptoms and allows patients to sleep soundly once again. Unfortunately, many patients find they are unable to sleep with CPAP -- some find it uncomfortable to wear the small mask, and others are bothered by the noise. These patients are deemed “CPAP intolerant” and require an alternate treatment method.
For mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea or CPAP intolerant patients, the removable oral appliance provides an effective treatment option. It is a small, portable mouthpiece that looks something like an athletic mouthguard and is custom-fitted to your unique oral structures for maximum comfort.
A removable oral appliance works by shifting your lower jaw and tongue forward, preventing their collapse during sleep. For patients who have not found success with the CPAP, the benefits of the removable oral appliance are many.
Compared to CPAP, a removable oral appliance is...
The first step to treating sleep apnea is for a patient to be properly diagnosed, and this is done using a sleep study. A patient spends a night wearing a small device that records their breathing and heart activity, and this can be used to determine whether or not they have sleep apnea and how severe it might be. With this information, a treatment plan can be put together to combat the symptoms and help a patient get the rest they need. Further sleep studies can also ensure that any recommended treatments are working as planned.
An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward effective sleep apnea therapy. That is why Dr. Langston uses pharyngometry and rhinometry to learn as much as he can about a patient’s sleep apnea. These advanced technologies employ soundwaves to create a visualization of a patient’s airway and provide insight into why they are not breathing well at night. Armed with that information, Dr. Langston is able to come up with a truly customized treatment plan and design an oral appliance that provides the greatest measure of relief possible.
If you have recently received a diagnosis for sleep apnea or if you have yet to find a treatment method that works for you, we invite you to get in touch with your sleep dentist at Long Creek Dental. Dr. Langston will evaluate your needs and identify the treatment that is best for you, including CPAP alternatives. Request an appointment today!