Are you currently under the care of a sleep physician or looking to find a sleep doctor to help you manage your chronic snoring or sleep apnea? Dr. Theron Manson works with many sleep experts to help our patients find solutions and get a better night’s rest. Our team will help you understand the signs and causes of obstructive sleep apnea. We will also discuss treatment in order to help you make informed decisions about your health.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft palate, tongue and throat relax and move closer together during sleep which ristricts breathing. Initially, this will cause your airway to become more narrow, leading to snoring, gasps, and worsening breathing problems. But, as your body enters deeper sleep (REM), these structures begin to seal completely, preventing your body from taking a full breath. This causes you gasp for air and disrupts your sleeping pattern.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring
- Episodes during which you stop breathing while asleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Wake up with dry lips
- Morning headache
- Daytime sleepiness
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments
Say Goodbye to CPAP Equipment
Some types of obstructive sleep apnea can be managed by wearing an oral appliance that naturally opens the airway and improves airflow as you rest. If you’re CPAP intolerant or dislike wearing the bulky prosthesis to bed, you may want to consider whether or not another option is available.
Depending on your oral anatomy and type of sleeping disorder, Dr. Manson can offer a few different types of oral appliances to choose from. Many of them work by repositioning the lower jaw in a way that prevents soft tissue blockage while you sleep.
What Does Sleep Apnea Have to do With My Mouth?
The effects of sleep apnea can cause a tremendous amount of wear to your teeth. Often times, people who aren’t sleeping properly tend to grind and clench their teeth together as they struggle for oxygen. This leads to damage to your teeth and existing restorations, ruining the investments of past dental treatments.
Some of the signs that Dr. Manson will look for during your exam may include:
- Flat, worn, or chipped teeth
- Broken fillings and crowns
- Prominent jaw muscles
- Tori, a non-pathological outgrowth of bone
- Scalloping of the tongue
- Large neck circumference
It’s not just your energy level that’s impacted by sleep-disordered breathing. The signs could be there without you even knowing that you have a problem.
What Comes Next?
If you’re not already seeing a sleep physician, we can refer you to one if necessary. We also have an in-house sleep monitor that you can use to screen for potential signs of apnea at night. We’ll record a baseline reading both before the oral appliance is made and during use, so we can read the information and determine if improvement has been made. Most of our patients can tell a huge difference within the first day or two of wearing their appliance.
Will My Insurance Pay for It?
Our Kirkland dentist can help you jump through the hoops with your medical insurance, so you can take advantage of benefits that may cover your oral sleep apnea appliance. Financing is also available through CareCredit.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have sleep apnea, start to make note of how you feel in the morning, whether or not you’re tired during the day, and changes in your health (including weight gain.) Your solution may be as close as a visit to our Kirkland dentist office and a consult with your sleep physician.
Call us today to find out how you could be sleeping more comfortably in no time!