Many times your sleeping partner will notice your sleep apnea before you do due to the most common symptom of apnea: snoring. Unfortunately, that annoying vibrating sound is just one of many symptoms that sleep apnea suffers can demonstrate. The quality of sleep you receive plays a direct role in your wellness, your physical health and your quality of life. When you lack quality sleep due to issues such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, many people may become irritable, distracted, and face an increased risk of severe health problems.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep due to the tongue or other obstruction. The soft tissue in the back of the throat and mouth fall backwards during sleep, sealing off the airway. When this happens, the body reacts by trying to rouse you — the heart rate increases and you may wake up in a panicked state. For sleep apnea sufferers, the airway becomes obstructed consistently or often throughout the night, depending on the level of severity of the case. This can cause loss of normal bodily functions, and lead to issues such as:
Does a quickened heartbeat ever wake you up in the middle of the night? Do you feel uncharacteristically tired during the day? Is your partner losing sleep because of your snoring? If you answered “yes” to any of those, it might be time to complete a sleep study.
Previously, sleep studies have been difficult to complete, as they are expensive and uncomfortable. However, our Cary, NC dental office partners with sleeptest.com, an innovative sleep study solution. We will provide you a small device that you will wear for two nights while sleeping in your own bed, at home. At the end of the study, we send the completed study to a sleep physician located in Raleigh. In a few short days, you receive your results! Typically sleep studies can cost upwards of $2000, but this services usually costs our patients around $300.
On average, sleep apnea affects more than 20 million Americans nationwide. Many sufferers are not even aware they have the condition; however, people who do usually depend on a CPAP to treat their problem. Unfortunately, CPAPs do not work for everyone. If you have stage 1 or stage 2 sleep apnea, a small oral device may be an even better solution for you to finally get a full night’s sleep.
For sleep apnea sufferers, many physicians frequently prescribe a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine; however, only 23% – 45% of patients typically have success with a CPAP.
At best, a CPAP is a temporary solution that sleep apnea patients wear every night for the entire night. Many patients find that they take off the uncomfortable CPAP mask in the middle of the night in a dozing state, rendering it useless. For patients who do manage to retain the device, the machine can cause facial breakouts, eye and nasal irritation, mouth dryness, runny nose, and sore throat. Many CPAP wearers point to an overall uncomfortable experience that takes quite a bit of adjustment.
For many CPAP wearers, however, there may be an easy and affordable alternative. Stanley Dentistry in Cary, NC offers a small oral device that keeps the tongue from falling into the back of the throat while sleeping. Patients many only have to wear the device while sleeping instead of a CPAP! At our practice, we provide custom solutions, tailored to your needs, so that the device molds directly your mouth; this ensures a comfortable fit. The device itself is made of soft, pliable plastic that’s durable but easy to wear for a long, restful night.
These appliances may not be the proper solution for everyone but for patients who suffer from stage 1 or stage 2 sleep apnea, the success rate with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is close to 100%.
After an initial consultation in our Cary, NC dental office and the completion of sleep study, our expert team will be able to fit you for your custom oral device. Although it’s an oral device, many patients are able to file their medical insurance (not dental insurance) to cover the costs of the treatment!