People who suffer from sleep disorders come in all ages, shapes and sizes. Sleep apnea and other sleep related disorders are often thought to only affect overweight, middle-aged men. However both men and women, even those who are slim, can have sleep breathing disorders. These disorders can have very negative effects on quality of sleep, cognitive and cardiovascular function, mental well-being and overall health.
It is common that those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea don’t even know of their condition. They may realize that they snore or gasp at night, and feel overtired or fatigued during the day, but they are unaware of their potential sleep disorder and related medical conditions that can occur as a result of untreated sleep apnea.
What’s more, people who do know that they have sleep apnea, may not know that dentists can often treat the condition using an oral appliance. Until a few years ago, the only treatment for sleep apnea was CPAP, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP involves the wearing of a facial mask that connects to a forced air machine. For some patients, these machines can be difficult to comply with. Some users might find the mask uncomfortable, or that the noise produced by the forced air machine disturbs them or their sleeping partner. An oral appliance however, makes no noise, is similar in size and shape to a night guard, therefore making it easier for patients who have difficulty using a CPAP device.
Untreated sleep apnea is responsible for a long list of medical conditions that result from a chronic lack of oxygen. These include, but are not limited to:
• Heart attacks
• Severe Anxiety
• Memory and concentration impairment
• Sudden Cardiac Death
• GERD (acid reflux)
• Bruxism (tooth grinding)
• Cardiac arrhythmia
• High Blood Pressure
Successful management of obstructive sleep apnea, greatly improves the quality and length of a patient’s life.
Snoring is a sign that something is wrong with your breathing during sleep. It means that the airway is not fully open and the snoring noise that you make comes from efforts to force air through the narrowed passageways. Snoring is sometimes referred to as airway obstruction or obstructive sleep apnea. Apnea is the cessation of breath during sleep. Snoring and Sleep apnea increases the risk for stroke, heart attack and hypertension. With the use of custom-fitted mouth appliances, Dr. Huxtable can hold the jaw in the proper position to keep the airway from collapsing. Whether it’s you or your child that suffers from this disorder, Dr. Huxtable may be able to help you before it leads to permanent damage.
Did you know the most conservative treatment for snoring, sleep apnea and other sleep breathing disorders, is having a dental appliance made to wear during sleep? This gently moves the lower jaw forward causing positive changes in tongue position and airway. If you are not getting enough sleep due to a sleep disorder, Dr. Huxtable can do a comprehensive sleep assessment to help guide you in determining the cause. She is very experienced in treating sleep disorders with oral appliances and her extensive knowledge in treating TMJ disorders, ensures that your jaw remains comfortable. Oral appliance therapy can help people with various airway resistance problems, not just sleep apnea.