Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway.
As a result, sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Memory problems.
- Frequent awakenings at night.
- Choking, gasping, or snorting during sleep.
- Morning headaches.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Extreme stress.
- Moodiness and irritability.
These are all signs and symptoms that you could be losing shut-eye to sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening condition.
It can also increase the risk for other serious health problems, including the following: high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and impotence.
The traditionally prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves sleeping with a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine.
Although CPAP is effective, up to half of patients don’t adhere to the treatment. Our dentists here at St. Mary’s Dental can provide an alternate sleep solution with oral appliance therapy.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that fits easily into your lifestyle.
A dental oral appliance looks like a sports mouthguard and is worn only during sleep. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway, preventing snoring and your airway from closing.
Once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by a sleep physician, Dr. Gina McCray and Dr. Kara McCray Demer, who are qualified dentists with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, can make a custom-fitted oral appliance using impressions and models of your teeth.
Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. Patients like these mouthguards because they are comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel, and easy to clean.
Treating snoring or sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms—and your quality of life—can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. Custom-fit oral appliances from St. Mary’s Dental can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation To Start Sleeping Better Tonight
If you have concerns about snoring and sleep apnea, it may be time to make an appointment. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, Dr. Gina McCray and Dr. Kara McCray Demer can recommend a sleep physician to help get you started on your path to treatment.
If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can fit you with an oral appliance at the recommendation of your physician. Our team at St. Mary’s Dental is ready to answer your questions about obstructive sleep apnea, dental sleep medicine, and oral appliance therapy.