At Arizona Associates in Dentistry, we’re fairly used to people being surprised when they hear we can help treat sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder affects millions of Americans, many of whom are unaware their loud, frequent snoring is a symptom of something more serious. If you or your partner snore, find yourselves waking up several times during the night, or feeling exhausted no matter how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten, scheduling a consultation may be in your best interest. Your Maricopa dentists can get you back to sleeping soundly – without a CPAP machine.
There are several different types of sleep apnea, but the one we are able to address at Arizona Associates in Dentistry is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, which blocks the airway and prevents proper breathing throughout the night. The lack of airflow causes a lack of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body, and can cause serious, potentially deadly health problems.
Some common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include (most of which occur at night):
Some of the most common factors that put you at higher risk for developing sleep apnea are:
Sleep apnea can have a serious impact on your overall health and quality of life. Without treatment, patients may experience any of the following:
Traditional sleep apnea treatment involves a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and is a machine that you wear at night to manually push air in and out of your lungs. While CPAP machines are considered “the gold standard” for sleep apnea treatment, many patients are dissatisfied with the volume, bulk, and invasiveness of the machine – to the point that it prevents the user from finding restful sleep. That kind of renders the treatment ineffective, right?
Thankfully, we’re able to offer a less invasive, more modern solution with oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy uses a small oral device that gently shifts the lower jaw forward, preventing the airway from collapsing and allowing the patient to breathe comfortably throughout the night. It’s similar to a mouthguard, as well as silent and easy to travel with.
While snoring may seem like a minor problem, it could be a sign of something more serious. Consulting with your Maricopa dentist for diagnosis and treatment could be life-saving.