Sleep Apnea Treatment in Waxahachie, TX
Dental Sleep Medicine focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, which include snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), using oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy involves the customized selection, fabrication, fitting, adjustments, and long-term follow-up care of specially designed oral devices, worn during sleep, which reposition the lower jaw and tongue base forward to maintain a more open upper airway.
The Link Between Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Snoring is the sound made when the tissues of the soft palate, tongue, and throat partially block the airway and vibrate against the back of the throat during sleep. Snoring affects 40 percent of adults by the age of 40. It’s estimated that 45 million people snore every night affecting themselves and their bed partners. Snoring can lead to more serious health problems for both the offender and their bed partners.
You can download this questionnaire to help determine your level of daytime sleepiness: Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are the two most common symptoms of OSA. These may cause:
- Memory loss
- Morning headaches
- Impaired concentration
Patients who suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness don’t realize how dangerous this symptom is for both the patient and others around them. In fact, almost 20 percent of all serious car crash injuries are associated with drivers who suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. If you believe to be suffering from sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Clinton.
Dental Snoring Relief – Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is a great treatment that can help achieve relief from sleep apnea. The therapy involves wearing a removable appliance in the mouth while sleeping. These devices fit very similar to a mouth guard or orthodontic retainer.
Oral appliances help prevent your airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or by repositioning the jaw in a forward position. You should be custom fitted for an oral appliance by Dr. Clinton for it to be effective. Although there are over-the-counter devices such as bite-and-boil mouthguards, they’re not recommended as a treatment option for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
Types of Oral Appliances
- Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) — This is the most popular device for sleep apnea. It brings the lower jaw forward and away from the back of your throat, which helps prevent the throat from collapsing.
- Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) — This device treats snoring and sleep apnea by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. This helps tighten the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway to prevent obstruction of the airway during sleep.
- Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA) — These oral appliances reposition your lower jaw forward and down slightly to keep your airway open while you sleep. These devices are the most widely used oral appliances.
- Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD) — These oral appliances hold your tongue in place during sleep to prevent it from obstructing the airway.
Those who are fitted with one of these sleep apnea appliances need to have it checked shortly afterward to ensure that it’s working properly. Adjustments or periodic replacements are sometimes necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sleep apnea life-threatening?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. That’s why it’s crucial to seek treatment immediately after getting diagnosed with sleep apnea. Our dentists offer effective treatments to tackle your sleep apnea and help you sleep soundly at night.
To learn about our treatment options, contact our Waxahachie office at (972) 885-3335 or fill out the contact form. Our dentists will answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you choose the best solution for your unique condition.
What are the side effects of using a CPAP machine?
In addition to potentially being a noisy inconvenience to you and your sleeping partner, various side effects make it difficult to continue treatment with a CPAP machine. Side effects may include:
- Mask leak
- Dry, stuffy nose, or nosebleeds
- Skin irritations
- Dry mouth
You’ll also have to regularly clean the mask and ensure you have a secure fit so the device works effectively. We find that the CPAP machine doesn’t fit into the lifestyle of many of our patients and that they prefer something more portable and easier to maintain like a customized oral appliance.
Is there a relationship between sleep apnea and obesity?
About 70 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea are also obese. In adults, there is a strong correlation between excess weight and obstructive sleep apnea. For every increase in BMI, there’s a 14 percent increased risk of developing sleep apnea. With an increase in weight, there’s an increase in OSA severity.
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, schedule a consultation at our office by calling (972) 885-3335. During your consultation, one of our dentists will review your symptoms, examine your mouth and throat, and determine if you’ll benefit from a sleep study. Once diagnosed, we can begin treatment right away.
How can I naturally treat sleep apnea?
There are several lifestyle modifications that can improve your sleep apnea symptoms. However, we recommend them in conjunction with trusted methods, rather than instead of medical treatment. Natural sleep apnea remedies include:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and sedatives
- Positional therapy
We understand that no two patients are the same. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, we’ll create a customized treatment plan including the use of an oral appliance, and suggest lifestyle modifications that will benefit you the most so we can optimize your results.
Contact Dr. Clinton For Sleep Apnea Relief
If you’d like to learn more about sleep apnea and our treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Clinton at our Waxahachie office. Call our office at (972) 885-3335 or you can get in touch by filling out our convenient contact form. We have provided effective dental sleep medicine for the Waxahachie and Ennis, TX areas.