Sleep Apnea Therapy – Portland, OR
Get Better Sleep for Better Days
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects how you breathe while sleeping. For sufferers, normal breathing can be interrupted for 10 seconds or more hundreds of times during a single night. Untreated sleep apnea prevents you from getting enough deep, restorative sleep. Without it, you may be tired all the time, lack mental sharpness, and be less productive. Long term health effects can be serious, including weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Why Choose Advanced Dental Arts NW for Sleep Apnea Therapy?
- Customized Treatment for Restful Sleep
- Dentist with More Than 3 Decades of Experience
- Friendly, Caring Dental Team
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can manifest with many symptoms, including:
- Loud, chronic snoring.
- Breathing pauses for a long period.
- Waking up often at night.
- Forgetfulness, irritability, and depression
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, affects over 20 million people in the US alone. Essentially, it is a medical condition wherein the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, restricting the airflow into the lungs. As might well be expected, this can translate into anything from snoring to restless sleep to an outright medical emergency of essentially self-suffocation. It is not something to be treated lightly.
Treatments for Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea
To treat sleep apnea, you can do the following:
- Talk to a doctor trained in sleep apnea.
- Use supplemental oxygen while sleeping.
- Use a CPAP (continuous positive airflow pressure) machine.
- Use an oral appliance made by Dr. Teasdale’s office to help keep your airway open.
There are two equally-endorsed methods of dealing with OSA: CPAP units and dental appliances. CPAP machines, which force air into the lungs on a regulated basis, have several drawbacks, including bulkiness, noise, and constrictive masks. The big advantage of CPAP units is that, when worn, they are very effective in forced respiration. The big disadvantage is that because of their inconveniences, they are used only a small percentage of the time when prescribed.
Both CPAPs and dental appliances are generally covered by your medical insurance, not your dental plan, which cuts out-of-pocket expense dramatically.
Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea
Dental sleep appliances work by bringing the jaw forward and downward, creating more room for the tongue to move out of the back of the throat. These have the advantage of being more comfortable, less confining, and completely silent compared to CPAPs. There are no hoses, no pumps, and no masks. And, in a very large percentage of cases, they are as effective as CPAP machines in resolving the problem of OSA. If you currently have a CPAP unit and are interested in trying a dental appliance, please give Advanced Dental Arts NW a call today. We can certainly address any of your questions or concerns.
CPAP for Sleep Apnea
Physicians generally favor CPAP units because they are an absolute: air is forced into the lungs mechanically and regularly, so the problem is addressed. Dental appliances, on the other hand, place the lower jaw where it needs to be to open the airway naturally. Both treat the core problem of OSA, but dental appliances, because they are more comfortable and convenient to use, tend to have much higher patient compliance compared to CPAPs.
Home Treatments for Minor Sleep Apnea
If your sleep apnea case is relatively minor, there are little things you can do at home to address your condition, including:
- Avoid sleeping on your back because your tongue is more likely to block your airway.
- Elevate your head using extra pillows or a body wedge.
- Open your nasal passage via breathing strips, saline nasal flush, or a nasal dilator.
- Lose weight.
Reach Out For Help
If you suspect that you might have OSA in some stage (including snoring, sore jaws, or worn or chipped teeth among other signs), we can also help. We can provide a take-home sleep monitor that you wear for one night which collects all the data necessary to diagnose OSA. It also records the occurrence of any teeth grinding during sleep as well. If it appears that you may have OSA, we will work with your physician to get you an appliance and nip this problem at the earliest possible time.
Sleep apnea can affect much more than your teeth. It can severely affect your overall health and quality of life as well. If you think you may have sleep apnea, please give us a call. We can help identify and diagnose the severity of your sleep apnea and discuss the best treatment options for your unique situation.