Sleep Apnea Therapy – Arlington Heights, IL
Sleep Apnea Treatments for a Restful Night’s Sleep
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the US. It affects millions of children and adults. The disorder causes patients to stop breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. For patients with severe sleep apnea, this may occur hundreds of times each night. Most patients visit a general physician or sleep doctor for sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment planning, but most don’t know that the dentist can help sleep apnea sufferers as well. If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, please contact the Westgate Dental Care team to schedule a consultation visit with our team to discuss sleep apnea therapy in Arlington Heights, IL.
Why Choose Westgate Dental Care for Sleep Apnea Therapy?
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From Sleep Apnea
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two main types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals for the body to breathe in and out. Obstructive sleep apnea is a result of physical airway blockage. Central apnea is less common and requires advanced treatments. Obstructive apnea makes up the majority of the cases, and is easily treatable with a variety of solutions.
Side Effects of Sleep Apnea
When the cessation of breath occurs, the brain triggers a panic response, alerting and awakening the body to restart breathing. Patients often do not notice their breathing has stopped or know that there is a problem. However, left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a variety of adverse oral health effects, including:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Waking gasping or out of breath
- Frequent morning headaches
- Dry mouth, especially upon waking
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
Traditionally, sleep doctors prescribed treatment using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. As the name implies, these systems use flowing air to keep the throat clear, allowing patients to breathe deeply. However, numerous patients find themselves unable to adjust to these treatments or use their CPAP systems inconsistently due to frequent travel that makes these large systems inconvenient. Instead, we offer comfortable, portable oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea sufferers. Custom made from high quality materials, these oral appliances shift the jaw forward, place pressure on the throat, and allow people to breathe easily through the night.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Can I Diagnose Sleep Apnea on My Own?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to diagnose sleep apnea by yourself. Although many of the symptoms might indicate that you have the disorder, they won’t be the defining factor that verifies your suspicion. The best way to know for certain is by getting an official diagnosis from a sleep doctor, especially since different kinds of sleep apnea will need particular treatment approaches. In some instances, things like Apple Watches can help offer data regarding your sleep, but they won’t provide comprehensive testing for sleep apnea. A sleep test performed by a qualified sleep doctor will give you the exact information required to determine the type of sleep apnea you might have.
Why Should I See a Dentist for Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Since dentists have expertise in teeth, gums, and oral health, they’re also specifically trained in upper respiratory health, making them incredibly important for sleep apnea treatment. Some dental professionals offer help for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), such as a custom-made oral appliance that can reposition the lower jaw and keep the mouth and neck tissues from obstructing the airways. Additionally, visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups can serve as a comprehensive approach to addressing both your oral health and sleep-related problems.
Will Sleep Apnea Go Away If I Lose Weight?
Having excess weight can be one of the many contributing factors to developing sleep apnea. This is because this condition can increase the risk of obstructing the airways due to the extra tissue in the neck and mouth. By losing weight, you can help reduce the amount of tissue surrounding the airway, allowing you to breathe better during rest.
That said, excess weight is only one of several factors, so it’s possible to still experience sleep apnea even after shedding a few pounds. To know whether your situation has gotten better or persists, you’ll likely require an additional sleep test. You’ll want to work closely with your healthcare professionals so that you can keep track of your progress and continue developing a better approach for treating your specific sleep apnea condition.
Will Oral Appliance Therapy Make CPAP Therapy Unnecessary?
In some cases, oral appliance therapy is so comfortable and efficient that it can make a CPAP machine unnecessary for certain patients, especially if their situation is mild to moderate and CPAP therapy is uncomfortable for them. With a CPAP machine, a patient will need to wear a mask that provides air through the airways, which is quite effective. Still, around half of prescribed CPAP users find it difficult to comply with this method.
For people with severe sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy by itself may not be enough to treat their symptoms. You’ll need to consult both your sleep doctor and dentist, as they may be able to develop a more comfortable and effective plan tailored to your specific needs.
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