Get Restful, Healthy Sleep
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Queen Anne
Sleep apnea is an extremely common condition that affects millions of Americans of all ages (including children), shapes and sizes. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of apnea and this condition occurs when the soft tissues of the palate and throat relax during sleep. OSA is a medical condition that, if left untreated, can cause issues ranging from poor quality sleep to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack as a result of regular interruptions in respiration.
Recognizing Your Condition
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is heavy snoring, often punctuated by short pauses in breathing and gasping or choking sounds. However, many people are unaware of these symptoms while they are asleep. A few other symptoms include waking up with a dry or sore throat, sleepiness and lack of energy during the day, and pediatric bruxism (teeth grinding). Many people with apnea will not feel properly rested, even after sleeping for 8+ hours. Forgetfulness, mood swings, morning headaches, and decreased libido may also indicate the presence of sleep apnea. Here at Seattle Dental Co., our team is trained to screen for sleep apnea risk factors with all of our patients, and can help facilitate the proper referrals to sleep doctors. We especially screen children, as obstructions to breathing affect jaw growth and development. If you notice any of these issues in yourself, your child, or your sleeping partner, schedule a consultation at Seattle Dental Co.
Know Your Options
Treatments For Sleep Apnea
In some minor cases, simple lifestyle changes can help resolve sleep apnea. Weight loss, changes in your sleeping position, and ceasing use of alcohol and tobacco may help. However, a number of other options are available for patients with more severe cases of OSA, including sleep appliances, CPAP machines, and even oral surgery.
Dental Sleep Appliances
A sleep appliance looks quite similar to a retainer or a mouth guard used for sports. Sleep appliances are custom built to move your jaw into a healthier position throughout the night. This, in turn, helps prevent the palate and throat from blocking your airway when they relax. For minor-to-moderate apnea, sleep appliances can be a good option because they are small, portable, and convenient.
Treatment For Severe Apnea
For patients who have severe sleep apnea, the team at Seattle Dental Co. will consult with sleep specialists to determine whether a CPAP machine is the best treatment for you. CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.” During sleep, these machines pump air through a comfortable face mask at a steady, positive pressure, and this pressure prevents the tissue in your palate and throat from causing OSA.
A MORE PERMANENT SOLUTION
Orthodontics & Oral Surgery
In some patients with OSA, the underlying cause is anatomical. A combination of orthodontics and jaw surgery may help resolve OSA for a lifetime without relying on a dental sleep appliance or a CPAP machine. We screen for these skeletal issues and can refer you to specialists to provide a solution that can help both your bite and breathing.