Get a Good Night’s Rest with Sleep Apnea Therapy
Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult when you have obstructive sleep apnea. Depending on the severity, it can be a deadly condition that not only compromises your long term health, but can end your life as you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the relaxation of the muscles around your tongue and throat, which blocks the flow of air to your lungs during your slumber. Though snoring is a common symptom, that alone is not a sufficient cause for alarm. You may be suffering from sleep apnea if you exhibit the following:
- Headaches in the morning
- Frequent daytime sleepiness/fatigue
- Moodiness, decreased mental and emotional functioning
- Frequent snoring, choking, or gasping while you sleep
- Insomnia, disrupted sleep
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
Here at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we have successfully diagnosed and treated patients with sleep apnea, helping them get the much-needed sleep they deserve. We provide custom dental devices that comfortably keep your airways open as you sleep, so you can avoid using a machine or having to undergo surgery.
Understanding Your Risks & Treatment Options
Your risk for developing sleep apnea can be aggravated by a variety of factors, which include:
- Being overweight
- Having a thick neck
- Having a narrow throat
- Being male
- Being older
- Excessive use of alcohol, tranquilizers, and sedatives
- Persistent nasal congestion
Mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea can be effectively treated and managed with dental devices and prudent lifestyle changes. Recommended behavioral adjustments may include sleeping on your side, losing excess weight, and abstaining from smoking and drinking alcohol.
There are 2 types of dental devices used for sleep apnea therapy, which must be custom-made by your dentist or orthodontist:
Tongue retaining device—This is recommended for milder cases of sleep apnea. The oral appliance works by holding the tongue in place as you sleep.
Though dental devices are effective and are generally preferred by most patients, it does have some disadvantages. You may experience jaw pain, movement of teeth, dry lips, and dry mouth. If the mouthpiece causes too much discomfort, we recommend a follow up visit so it can be adjusted for a better fit.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea and would like to know more about your treatment options, or if you need to make an appointment, please call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-6101. For your convenience, you can also reach us online by submitting a contact or appointment request using the form below.