Did you know that sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, yet many are unaware they even have the condition? Sleep apnea is a serious disorder, negatively affecting the quality of sleep, and putting patients at risk for severe health ailments . While common, the condition often goes unnoticed until patients are made aware of their excessive snorting from a partner. The good news is that relief can come quickly, in the form of a simple oral appliance. At Beverly Hills Dental Health and Wellness, we help many patients find relief from snoring and sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
As mentioned above, sleep apnea affects millions of Americans and can have serious health consequences. While there are several different types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is the one we see most frequently. With obstructive sleep apnea, the patient’s airway becomes partially or fully blocked when the muscles in the back of the mouth collapse, prohibiting the ability to breathe normally. The abrupt stopping and starting of breathing causes the brain and other organs to be deprived of oxygen. The episodes also cause patients to startle awake and then normal breathing resumes. A person with sleep apnea can experience hundreds of these episodes every single night.
The negative impact of sleep apnea
Aside from daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can have a profound impact on total wellness, increasing the risk of the following:
- Disruptive snoring
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Failure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Depression and Anxiety
- An increase threat of accidents due to fatigue
Diagnosing sleep apnea
If you have noticed that you wake up feeling completely exhausted, or your partner has indicated that your snoring is frequently disrupting his or her sleep, it may be time for a sleep apnea evaluation. Your doctor will request a sleep study, done either at home or in a clinic, to determine if you have sleep apnea.
Finding relief from sleep apnea
In the past, the most common treatment for sleep apnea was a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The machines are extremely effective at keeping the airway open to ensure that your body is not deprived of oxygen. The downside is the burden of using the machine itself. CPAP machines can be bulky, requiring the use of a face mask that many patients find clalustrophobic to sleep with. Additionally, the machine can be loud, which can impact your sleep or your partner’s. In the end, many patients discontinue use of the CPAP machine and continue to suffer from the negative effects of sleep apnea.
From a dental perspective, we can offer a more comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine. Custom oral appliances can be just as effective at treating mild to moderate sleep apnea without the bulky, loud CPAP machine. Like a sports mouthguard, dental appliances keep the lower jaw positioned slightly forward to prevent the soft tissue from blocking the airway, allowing you to maintain normal breathing. The oral appliance is created specifically for your mouth from dental impressions.
The benefits of oral appliance therapy include:
- Keeps airway open without the need for a CPAP mask
- Its custom made and comfortable
- Only needs to be worn at night while sleeping
- Does not make loud noises
Candidates for oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea
If you found that CPAP treatment was not the right option for your sleep apnea, you may be the perfect candidate for oral appliance therapy. The treatment has been approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as a tier one treatment for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. For individuals with severe sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may still be recommended along with oral appliance therapy for optimal results.
Sleep better with oral appliance therapy in Beverly Hills
If you are ready to stop suffering and find relief from disruptive snoring and sleep apnea, you should call the team at Beverly Hills Dental Health and Wellness to discuss oral appliance therapy. During a consultation, we’ll be able to determine if your level of sleep apnea can be addressed effectively through oral appliance therapy. We’re happy to answer any questions you have so you can feel confident you’ve made the right decision to continue down the path to a better night’s sleep. To book an appointment, give us a call at (310) 692-7855 today.
Beverly Hills Dental Health and Wellness helps patients find relief from sleep apnea and snoring with oral appliance therapy. Give us a call at (310) 692-7855.