If you or a loved one snores, you are likely aware that snoring often accompanies fitful sleep. Severe snoring may also be a sign of a more serious problem like sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when an individual stops breathing for an extended period of time during sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when soft tissues such as the tongue or throat tissue block the airway. This causes the sufferer to stop breathing, and they are jolted awake by the brain to quickly gasp in air. This can occur multiple times in just one hour.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Drowsiness during the day even after going to bed early
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Waking with a dry or sore throat
- Morning headaches
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, especially if snoring is present, please speak with your sleep physician as well as our dentist.
Possible Complications of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Because your body is not getting the continuous supply of oxygen it needs during the night, untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
We urge you to seek treatment as soon as possible if you are suffering with sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Riverwalk Dental Spa + Sleep Apnea Solutions offers an alternative to any patient who cannot tolerate wearing their CPAP device. Snore appliances are designed to comfortably hold the airway open during sleep. Our oral appliance options include the SomnoDent MASTM and the SUAD™ device.
The SomnoDent MASTM is a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) that treats snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea by moving the lower jaw forward slightly. This forward movement tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction of the airway while you sleep. The tightening created by the device also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them — the most common cause of loud snoring.
The SUAD™ Device is a premium dental sleep appliance developed for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It is an effective, comfortable and durable alternative to CPAP therapy or corrective surgery. By simply wearing the SUAD Device while sleeping, your lower jaw (mandible) will be moved forward into a comfortable position, allowing relaxation of the tissues at the back of your throat and ensuring the base of your tongue does not collapse and block your airway, giving you a safe and soundless sleep.
To schedule your consultation with our dentist, Dr. Carrie Sessom, and learn more about oral appliance therapy and sleep apnea in Tulsa, Oklahoma, please contact our office at 918-770-0027.