Do you wake up feeling tired, even after a good night’s sleep? Does your partner complain about your constant snoring? It’s not unusual to snore occasionally, but if you’re snoring all the time and losing sleep, you may be suffering from what's known as sleep disordered breathing, which can include sleep apnea. Many patients who have sleep apnea and have struggled with using a CPAP mask find relief using a customized oral appliance available at Northern Hills Dental.
Properly known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), sleep apnea occurs when your normal sleep is interrupted because there's not enough oxygen in the blood. If you have OSA, you actually stop breathing in your sleep, and your body wakes itself up to restart breathing and restore oxygen levels. Incredibly, some sleep apnea patients experience episodes as often as one hundred times per hour!
The traditional nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP. This is administered through a facial or nasal mask during sleep.
However, sleep apnea patients often complain of discomfort when using the mask, and others simply don’t like wearing the mask because they find it restricting and uncomfortable. The real problem occurs when patients put their health in jeopardy by not using the device regularly or by giving up on it entirely.
Simple, Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea needs to be addressed as quickly as possible because the condition can lead to serious health complications. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are a few of the severe health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea.
The first step is to find out if your snoring is associated with sleep apnea. Dr. Stone will coordinate with your physician, who may recommend a sleep study to get a better understanding of your problem. Sleep studies can be conducted at your home, but in some cases, your doctor may recommend a hospital-based study. If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we will work with your doctor to make sure that an alternative to CPAP is appropriate for you.
If we find that you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may benefit from a custom-made oral device that allows you to breathe normally and eliminates the need for use of the CPAP mask. This simple appliance opens up your airway and allows you to breathe freely, which reduces snoring so you and your partner can both get a good night’s sleep. No two sleep apnea patients are alike, and we will customize your device to meet your specific needs.
Teeth Grinding While You Sleep
Teeth grinding is a common problem for many people and is often related to stress. But it may be that your dental bite isn’t balanced (when you bite down, you hit harder on one side of your mouth than the other), and you grind constantly, especially during sleep. This can lead to premature wearing of teeth as well as head, jaw, and neck pain.
In this case, Dr. Stone can create a customized splint called an NTI device that fits over your teeth to prevent them from coming into contact with each other. Minimizing teeth grinding reduces wear and tear on your teeth, and NTI devices are also FDA-approved for the treatment of migraines.
Get the Results You Want and the Sleep You Need
Your first step toward relief is to give us a call and arrange a consultation with Dr. Stone. At that time, we’ll talk about any symptoms you’re experiencing and your options for treatment.