Sleep Apnea Treatment in Waxahachie

Dental Sleep Medicine focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, which include snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), with 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.

Snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness are the two most common symptoms of OSA. These may cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritability, depression, and impaired concentration. Almost 20% of all serious car crash injuries are associated with drivers who suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness.

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% of adults by age 40 and it is 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 his or her bed partner.

Download this questionnaire to help determine your level of daytime sleepiness: Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Dental Snoring Relief – Oral Appliance Therapy

Relief from sleep apnea may be achieved using oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a removable appliance in the mouth while sleeping. These devices fit very similarly to a mouth guard or orthodontic retainer.

Oral appliances help to 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 your dentist in order for it to be effective. Although there are over-the-counter devices such as bite and boil mouthguards, they are not recommended as a treatment option for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

Types of Oral Appliances

There are a variety of oral appliances that can treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) – This is the most popular dental 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, which tightens 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. Mandibular repositioning 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 is working. Adjustments or periodic replacements are sometimes necessary.

Contact us today to make an appointment with our sleep apnea dentist. We have provided effective dental sleep medicine for the Waxahachie and Ennix, TX areas.

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 several 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 being a noisy inconvenience to you and your sleeping partner, there are various side effects that make it difficult to continue treatment with a CPAP machine. Side effects may include:

  • Discomfort
  • Claustrophobia
  • Mask leak
  • Dry, stuffy nose, or nosebleeds
  • Skin irritations
  • Dry mouth
  • Infections

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. 

What is the relationship between sleep apnea and obesity?

About 70% 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 is a 14% 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. Natural sleep apnea remedies include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking, and sedatives
  • Positional therapy
  • Humidifier

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.