Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Lacey
Getting the right amount of quality sleep is crucial for looking and feeling your best the next morning. What’s more, if you are frequently waking up after a night of poor sleep, it can even start to take a toll on your health. Sleep apnea is a common sleep breathing disorder that can lead to heart trouble and, in the worst cases, premature death. Keep reading to find out how we provide treatment for sleep apnea in Lacey with oral appliance therapy at Peterson & Cammack Dentistry.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
With approximately 18 million sufferers in the US alone, the most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It occurs when the soft and hard tissues of the mouth collapse and block the proper flow of air from the lungs to the brain during sleep. A person with OSA can have their sleep interrupted hundreds of times in one evening.
The most common cause of OSA is being overweight or obese, because excess weight puts pressure on the throat. Drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco can also increase this risk. Most people who have OSA are older than 55, but it can affect patients of any age. As rates of childhood obesity rise, so too do those of OSA in kids.
Getting treatment for OSA is crucial, as the condition has been linked to a number of health problems. Heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, memory loss, and premature death have all been linked to OSA.
What Are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Watch out for these warning signs of sleep apnea to ensure that you receive the treatment you need sooner rather than later. Some of the most common symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Waking up with a gasp or start
- Sore throat or dry mouth upon waking
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty completing everyday tasks
- Anxiety or depression
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
As an expert in all things related to your teeth and mouth, a trained sleep dentist is highly qualified to provide treatment for sleep apnea. Your dentist in Lacey offers oral appliance therapy, which uses a custom-fitted device that you wear during sleep. It looks something like an athletic mouthguard, and it works by holding the lower jaw in the proper position -- preventing its collapse and helping you breathe easy throughout the night.
Oral appliance therapy has helped many patients find the relief they need from OSA. It can also be a wonderful alternative to CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, which many people find to be disruptive or bothersome. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea or are looking for a CPAP alternative, oral appliance therapy may be perfect for you.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Are you wondering whether your sleep apnea in Lacey is severe enough to treat? Should you be concerned about how your sleeping condition is impacting your overall health? At Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re dedicated to improving our patients’ daily lives and wellbeing, which is why our team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your sleeping condition. Below, we’ve compiled some common concerns we receive from our patients who have sleep apnea.
What is the difference between a mild, moderate, and severe sleep apnea case?
Before you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lacey for treatment, you’ll need to visit a specialist to receive a sleep study and get diagnosed. They’ll determine whether your sleep apnea is considered mild, moderate, or severe based on your breathing patterns. Each time you breathe stops is an “apnea” or “event,” and these will determine the severity of your side-effects and what treatment option may be best for you. After your sleep study, they’ll count these events and use the following guidelines:
- Five to 15 events each hour: mild sleep apnea.
- 15 to 30 events per hour: moderate sleep apnea.
- 30 or more events each hour: severe sleep apnea.
They’ll also consider other factors when deciding how severe your condition is, including your oxygen levels, other medical conditions you may have, and how fatigued you feel.
How common is sleep apnea?
Many patients are surprised to find out that they suffer from a sleeping condition; however, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea is more common than most people realize. Sleeping disorders have become a serious health issue among Americans, and it’s estimated that about 22 million people in the nation suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of those cases being moderate and severe obstructive or are completely undiagnosed.
Is it safe to travel if I have sleep apnea?
It’s safe to travel if you have sleep apnea, just be sure to continue your treatment while you’re away so you don’t get fatigued. Operating vehicles and other machinery can be very dangerous when you suffer from the side effects of sleep apnea, so be sure to take your oral appliance and/or CPAP machine with you. If you fly to your location, you can bring your CPAP machine in with your carry-on luggage.
For a smooth trip through airport security, be sure to bring a letter from your doctor explaining the medical necessity of having one. Because an oral appliance is similar to a mouthguard or a retainer, these will be easier to get through security and shouldn’t cause any complications.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
Many patients who use CPAP machines stop after only one year because it’s too uncomfortable to sleep with. Instead, they’ll turn to sleep apnea treatment in Lacey, also known as oral appliance therapy. These are custom-tailored mouthguards that are shaped to open your airway and reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. With this treatment, there’s no need for surgery or medications, and you can easily and comfortably wear it while you’re sleeping. Many patients find oral appliance therapy much more successful than traditional treatment options.
Learn More Today!
Don’t live another day with chronic snoring and fatigue caused by OSA. If you have recently received a diagnosis for sleep apnea or are interested in learning more about oral appliance therapy, we invite you to request an appointment online today.