Are you suffering from chronic snoring, morning headaches, and daytime exhaustion with no understanding of where these symptoms are coming from? Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea only to find that the traditional CPAP treatment doesn’t work for you? Wherever you are in your journey towards the quality, uninterrupted rest you deserve, Dr. Luke Lumpkin and the rest of our team at Dentistry by Design can provide a helping hand. Many patients aren’t even aware that a dentist can help treat this condition with sleep apnea therapy, but it’s true – customized oral appliances are often a convenient and comfortable solution that can result in lasting improvements for your overall quality of life.
Sleep apnea consists of lapses in your breathing during sleep that last for more than 10 seconds and trigger a stress response in your brain to wake up enough to resume breathing. These episodes can occur up to 30 times per hour, preventing you from reaching and maintaining deep sleep. Because sleep apnea disturbs the REM cycles that you need, you can experience the following symptoms:
As the most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes partially or fully blocked while asleep. This leads to a dangerous decrease in needed oxygen, prompting the brain to rouse you so that you can readjust. These interruptions can take place countless times each night, resulting in fragmented, unsatisfactory sleep.
While CPAP machines are meant to maintain air flow, they are often bulky and can be more disruptive to sleep than the sleep apnea itself. Instead, you could turn to us at Dentistry by Design for oral appliance therapy. Your new oral appliance will have a simple purpose – once in place within the mouth, it repositions the jaw comfortably so that the airway is not able to collapse as easily. This keeps air flowing freely and helps you stay asleep so that you can wake in the morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Before pursuing treatment for sleep apnea, you may want to understand it better. We couldn’t agree more! So here are the answers to some common questions about this condition and how you can finally receive quality sleep.
Yes, you do. A sleep study is critical to confirm your diagnosis, making sure that the treatment will address the cause of your problem. We can recommend a sleep center where you can have a sleep study performed, and then you can come to our office for oral appliance therapy.
You may be tempted to disregard your sleep apnea and simply drink more coffee to wake up, but you really shouldn’t. Not only can it be frustrating to consistently feel tired, but it can be dangerous to your safety and health. For example, driving while drowsy can be just as hazardous as driving while intoxicated. Also, sleep apnea has been linked to several serious health complications and risks, including high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Getting treatment can help reduce these negative effects and give you higher quality of life.
If you have any of the following, you could be increased risk of sleep apnea:
By knowing your risks, you can keep an eye out for the symptoms of sleep apnea and be able to get on the path to better rest sooner rather than later.
Contact our Bartlesville, OK practice today if you have any more questions, or if you’re ready to schedule your first appointment!