Sleep Apnea Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition that can have a tremendous impact on your overall quality of life. Those who suffer from OSA experience frequently interrupted breathing during the night, causing brief awakenings. As a result, sufferers feel pronounced fatigue and other side-effects. Dr. Bill Stofer and Dr. Jason Hemphill can provide effective sleep apnea treatment at their Warsaw, IN, practice. Their outstanding care can improve the quality of your sleep and give you improved focus and energy throughout the day. At Dental Solutions, we typically provide custom-made oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. We can also suggest simple lifestyle changes to improve your quality of sleep.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to properly regulate breathing during sleep. CSA is more complex than OSA, and requires the attention of a specialist. OSA, on the other hand, occurs when the soft tissues of the throat, palate, and tongue relax during sleep, blocking the airways. In response, you will wake up or move to a lighter stage of sleep so that you can resume normal breathing. Sometimes, you may jolt awake with a sudden gasp of air. In many cases, however, you will be completely unaware of the interruptions to your sleep, even if they occur hundreds of times each night.
"If you never feel rested in spite of what you believe was a full night's sleep, you may be suffering from OSA."
The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
OSA sufferers are usually unaware of their condition. Dr. Stofer and Dr. Hemphill will often diagnose OSA based primarily on symptoms. Chronic exhaustion is one of the most common effects. If you never feel rested in spite of what you believe was a full night's sleep, you may be suffering from OSA. Loud snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea. Other symptoms include mood swings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and erectile dysfunction.
In addition to the immediate effects of OSA, sleep apnea can also take a toll on your long-term health. The condition has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Along with an evaluation of your symptoms, Dr. Stofer or Dr. Hemphill may recommend a sleep study for a definitive diagnosis. Once we have established that you suffer from OSA, your dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment. Most often, he will provide a custom-made oral splint. This appliance, also known as a mandibular adjustment device, will be made from impressions of your teeth. It will fit over your top and bottom dental arches, and it will push your lower jaw slightly forward. This jaw position will tighten your soft plate so that it is lifted clear of your throat.
In the past, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy was the most common treatment for sleep apnea. Patients would wear a facial mask that would pump a stream of air to force the airways open. However, many find it impossible to sleep while wearing their CPAP mask. In contrast, our oral splints are very comfortable, and patients often adjust to them in just a few nights. They are also small, subtle, and easy to transport.
We may recommend lifestyle changes to treat sleep apnea. Being overweight can increase your risk for OSA, since the excess pressure on your throat can block your airways. Therefore, changes to your diet and exercise regimen can enhance your sleep and overall health. You can also improve your breathing by changing your sleeping position, avoiding alcohol, and reducing your caffeine intake. If you are a smoker, stopping the habit can also help you to overcome sleep apnea.
Contact Us Today
Are you suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea? Contact Dental Solutions online or call (574) 269-1199 to schedule a consultation.
"I didn't have Bill S. This time. I had the new doctor and he did a great job. I would recommend him 100 times over! "Dianna J.