Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea was practically unheard of not all that long ago. But as better diagnostics developed, awareness spread. And now, we have learned that this condition effects many more people than we thought, and that its effects can be devastating. While we are known as the Boca Raton TMJ clinic, we are also experts at treating sleep disordered breathing. If you believe that you are suffering from sleep apnea, turn to us.
Sleep Apnea Is More than Just Snoring
Snoring is a loud, rasping noise that is made when the soft palate, uvula, and other airway structures vibrate during sleep. It may not be the most pleasant thing in the world, but it does not have the same health impact that sleep apnea does. However, excessive and loud snoring is often the first sign of sleep apnea that people notice.What separates sleep apnea from snoring? With obstructive sleep apnea, you actually stop breathing while sleeping. Those suffering from sleep apnea will wake from this disturbance, gasping for air and even choking. When sleep apnea is severe, it can prevent your body from getting the rest it needs to stay healthy.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you or your loved ones notice any of the following signs, you should schedule an appointment with us.
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Gasping, choking, or snorting during sleep
- Feeling sluggish throughout your day despite feeling like you slept the entire night
- Waking up with a headache
- Falling asleep unintentionally
- Struggling with memory issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in behavior, especially irritability
sleep Apnea can Impact Your Overall Health
Obstructive sleep apnea is a problem on its own, but it can lead to greater problems with your health. In recent years, it has been associated with stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and more. And since it causes drowsiness, it has also been linked to jobsite and traffic accidents. All of this means that sleep apnea is a much bigger deal than many have thought, and that is why our Boca Raton dentists have made it their mission to treat this condition.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
The process will start with a detailed health history, as well as some questions that target your sleep habits, lifestyle, and work issues. Once the health history has been completed, we will complete a examination of the inside of your mouth, teeth, jaw joints, and facial muscles. Depending on what is found, we may order radiographs, CBCT scans, or MRIs to give us a better understanding of the condition of your jaws and airway.
If we feel that you have sleep apnea, we will begin working with other specialists. You will be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist and a sleep study will be ordered. Together, we will come to a firm diagnosis and start your treatment.
What Are Treatments Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
There are many treatments for sleep apnea, and the treatments we recommend will depend on the severity of your condition. CPAP machines are recommended in moderate to severe cases; these machines pump air into your nose, using the air pressure to hold your airway open. Oral appliance therapy can be used as a CPAP alternative if the sleep apnea is mild to moderate; these custom-made appliances adjust the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open. Surgery is a possibility, but we consider it a last resort.
Other treatments include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, and mandibular advancement surgery. In addition to these treatments, losing weight, living a healthy lifestyle, and sleeping on your side can reduce or eliminate the effects of sleep apnea.
Are you conserved about sleep apnea? Schedule your appointment with our Boca Raton dentists today.