Sleep Apnea & Snoring Therapy
You might be surprised to learn that there is an important connection between sleep problems and dentistry. Many people who have sleep apnea don't even know it, but their body responds by teeth grinding, neck and shoulder aches, tiredness, forgetfulness, and health problems. Dentistry can help by opening up the airway which starts with where your teeth and tongue are in relation physcially.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea Q&A
What is snoring?
Sometimes when you are sleeping, your breathing causes air to pass over soft tissues, which makes them vibrate and generate the loud, harsh, raspy sound known as “snoring,” which in turn causes a sharp elbow to the ribs from your annoyed partner.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a medical condition wherein a sleeper’s breathing is obstructed and breathing is interrupted for periods of 10 seconds of more. This can happen dozens or hundreds of times during the night. These incidents can awaken the sleeper, but often so briefly that in the morning the sleeper does not even remember constantly awakening.
How are snoring and sleep apnea related?
Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea generally snore. Snoring alone is not enough to indicate sleep apnea however, as plenty of people without sleep apnea snore.
Both snoring and sleep apnea are caused by obstructions in an air passageway causing breathing problems while asleep.
Why are snoring and sleep apnea a problem?
Snoring in and of itself isn’t a health issue. The noise can be a problem for anyone within earshot of the snorer, but snoring is not a problem for the snorer.
On the other hand, sleep apnea is a very important health issue. It can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. By causing the sleeper to frequently awaken throughout the night, it robs the sufferer of good quality sleep. Sleep deprivation like that makes a person drowsy and less fully functional during the day—think of the dangers of driving when you’re practically nodding off at the wheel, for instance—and leads to problems like irritability, inability to focus, and forgetfulness. Here is a short video on the affects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-8b99rGpkM
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
As noted, snoring is one symptom of sleep apnea. If you feel surprisingly fatigued during the day even after you think you got a full night’s sleep, that too can be a sign of sleep apnea. So can waking up suddenly, with a sensation of choking or gasping for air. Many people with sleep apnea have heart problems, asthmatic, high blood pressure, TMJ, and take mulitple medications.
But the best way to find out if you have sleep apnea is to be diagnosed by a professional. If you think you even might have sleep apnea, it’s important to have it checked out. In spite of its major health implications, it is estimated that 80% of people who suffer from sleep apnea are never diagnosed.
Can children have sleep apnea?
Many children have undiagnosed sleep apnea. Those children often are moody, unfocused, have slow developing growth, frequent ear infections, and trouble with school. Lack of oxygen and poor sleep quality directly affects their growth hormones and behavior. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment the healthier the child will be. Treatment usually involves using orthopedic removable oral appliance to help develop the jaw in a more biological balanced way. Your child may also need tongue exercises, tonsilectomy, and more.
What can Dr. Nguyen do for my sleep apnea?
The first thing she’ll do is make sure if it’s sleep apnea we’re facing by having you take an at-home sleep study. The results will be sent into a sleep specialist to analyze your sleep. Dr. Nguyen will also recommend a CT scan to see your airway for size and obstructions.
If it is determined that you have sleep apnea, Dr. Nguyen will discuss with you some possibilities. She may recommend you to see an ear, nose and throat specialist, myofunctional therapist, and/or different specialists, depending on her comprehensive exam. Dr. Nguyen can help you by opening up your airway with a removable orthopedic appliance that you wear for 12 to 16 hours a day. This will grow the jaw and increase the airway, since many times the jaw is deficient and small.
Will my medical insurance help pay for my treatment?
Many times your medical insurance can help supplement the cost. Our office has the ability to help you navigate your benefits to find out how to make treatment affordable.