Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Can’t sleep over the loud snore? How about the CPAP machine that’s invaded your bedroom? Maybe you’re one of the 90% of undiagnosed people who are experiencing any of the following symptoms because of sleep apnea:
- Loud, recurring snoring
- Daytime drowsiness or fatigue
- Choking or gasping for air in your sleep
- Neck size greater than 17 inches (for a man)
- Neck size greater than 16 inches (for a woman)
- Stopped breathing during sleep
- Unexplained weight gain/trouble losing weight
- High blood pressure
- Heightened anxiety, depression or emotional issues
- Acid reflux
- History of stroke or heart attack
- Falling asleep during the day when activity is low
- Family history of sleep apnea
While snoring is a common symptom, sleep apnea is much more serious than a simple snore. It is a sleep disorder in which breathing periodically starts and stops during the night, and it can have a serious impact on your health. Sleep apnea has been linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease and more.
There are two types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by your brain sending incorrect signals to your muscles in your sleep—it usually requires the help of a sleep specialist. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it can often be successfully treated in a dentist’s office.
What are my options for treatment?
Oral appliance therapy is by far the most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. There are more than 80 different sleep apnea oral devices on the market today. Similar in appearance to a double retainer, they are designed to either shift the lower jaw forward or retain the tongue to keep it from falling back into the throat. Oral appliances are typically worn at night and are custom fit to each patient.
Drs. O'Rourke & Dr. Wonderly can create and oral appliance specially fitted for you as an alternative to the CPAP machine. However, some severe forms of apnea require more invasive treatments, procedures and surgeries. Set up a consultation to determine how we can help you.