Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Greencastle

Do you wake yourself up with your snoring, or has your partner informed you that your snoring is causing them to have sleepless nights? While snoring is frustrating on its own, it can also signify a much larger problem.

 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common but serious health condition caused by several factors, including weight gain, enlarged tonsils, genetics, and a deviated septum. Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than women, and symptoms worsen with age. Read more here.

When you sleep, the soft tissues in the back of your throat relax so much that they vibrate with every breath and cause loud snoring. They can even soften to the point that they obstruct your upper airway entirely. It forces you to rouse multiple times during the night and prevents you from getting a good night's sleep.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Suppose your partner reports that your snoring is uneven or that you start and stop snoring abruptly. In that case, you should schedule an appointment at Greencastle Hometown Dental to find out if you have sleep apnea. Some other common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • A sore throat when you wake up
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Headaches throughout the day
  • Mood swings
  • Waking up multiple times throughout the night

A sleep study may be necessary to determine the severity of your condition. Untreated sleep apnea is linked to numerous other significant risk factors, including:

 

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Strokes

Additionally, poor sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to drowsiness during the day, which can be dangerous while driving and cause problems at work and home. Read more about it here.

 

What Are The Treatments For Sleep Apnea?

CPAP - Treating sleep apnea has been uncomfortable or invasive in the past. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are noisy and can be intrusive and cumbersome. Beyond that, surgery treatment options do not have a very high success rate.

 

Weight Loss - One significant risk factor for sleep apnea is obesity. Shedding as little as 10 percent of body weight can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. Losing even more weight can even cure sleep apnea and stop snoring in some cases.

 

Surgery and Implants - In some cases, genetics can cause sleep apnea. People with large tonsils or extra tissue in their throats may have trouble breathing while sleeping. Other issues could be the tongue, jaw, or soft palate.

Although quite invasive, oral surgeons can work with patients to permanently change their upper airway muscles to improve breathing. There is also the option of hypoglossal nerve stimulation. It is considered invasive because a medical device is fully implanted beneath the skin, and it electrically stimulates the nerve with the help of a remote.

Positional Therapy - Stomach and side sleepers are less likely to experience sleep apnea. But back sleepers are more likely to experience problems. Positional therapy's goal is to keep you off your back. Some devices may help prevent sleeping on the back, including: 

Several devices range from simple to sophisticated and cheap to expensive—for example, tennis ball t-shirts, backpacks, wedges, bumpers, and stacked pillows.

Oral Appliances - These are also known as mandibular positioning devices and guide the jaw forward to position the tongue, helping to keep the airway open and reduce snoring. They are easy to use, portable, and comfortable.

At Greencastle Hometown Dental, we treat OSA and sleep disorders with oral appliance therapy. The appliance is worn at night while you are sleeping. Unlike CPAP therapy, the device is comfortable to wear and custom-fitted to your mouth for a perfect fit. It also won't disturb your partner's sleep as a CPAP can!

If Drs. Knuth or Funke determine that an appliance is a good choice; they will fit you for your unique device. Your appliance works by moving your lower jaw into a position to increase the space in your airway. Doing this allows air to move freely through your airway and reduces the vibration that causes snoring. Because your appliance is custom-made for your mouth, it fits comfortably and provides enough leeway for small jaw movements. It also does not obstruct your airflow.

 

Visit Greencastle Hometown Dental for Sleep Apnea

If you think you or someone you care about might have sleep apnea or a snoring issue, call Greencastle Hometown Dental, your dentist in  Greencastle, Indiana today. We'll do what we can to help you have a better night's sleep.