Sleep apnea is a condition to take very seriously because it can lead to other major health consequences. At Spokane Valley Dentistry, we provide effective treatment for many cases of sleep apnea to help you improve your health.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Frequent and recurring episodes of shortness of breath during sleep may indicate that you are suffering from sleep apnea. Signs of sleep apnea include poor sleeping habits, frequent sore throats, recurring headaches and a general inability to get a restful night sleep.
Spokane Valley Dentistry provides custom oral appliances that are designed to treat sleep apnea. Upon diagnosis, an oral appliance will be prescribed, which will adjust the position of your jaw to keep the airways open while you sleep. The device is designed to be comfortable and should not cause any discomfort to you or your sleeping partner. We may recommend other lifestyle changes as well such as weight loss, reduction in alcohol consumption, or elimination of sleeping medication.
Spokane Valley Dentistry also offers the Vivos System® as a potential treatment for sleep apnea. The Vivos System has helped thousands of people transform their life and sleep better at night.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by recurring interruptions in breathing. The lapses in breathing results in lower quality sleep and affects the body’s oxygen supply, which can result in serious health consequences. There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common form of sleep apnea and is caused by a person’s throat becoming overly relaxed while sleeping, blocking the airways and preventing normal breathing.
- Central sleep apnea. This occurs when your brain fails to submit signals to your breathing muscles, resulting in not breathing for a short period of time. This is a rare form of sleep apnea.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome. Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
This condition is normally associated with loud, intense snoring, but just because a person snores doesn’t mean they have sleep apnea. It can be caused by being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption or drug use that can cause the airways to become more relaxed and cause blockages, and it can also be caused by genetics. People with a family history of sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from the condition. According to the Sleep Foundation “Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It can affect children and adults and people of both sexes, although it is more common in men.”
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are listed below. Just because you have one, or a few of these, doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. Check with your doctor to be certain.
- Very loud snoring
- Sleepiness and loss of energy when awake
- Painful headaches
- Restless sleep
- Insomnia and recurrent awakenings
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Waking up in the night with gasping or choking sensations
- Sudden mood changes
- Poor concentration
- Going to the bathroom frequently at night
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed using a polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study. This can be done at home or at a sleep disorder center. The test records activities that occur while you sleep, including: brain activity, breathing, and oxygen levels. It also measures how long you spend in each sleep stage, how frequently you wake up, if you stop breathing, if you snore, and body position.
After the sleep study, a specialist goes over the data from your test. They analyze your brain activity and body system functioning to diagnose if a sleep disorder is present and recommend treatment.
If recommended, a dentist trained in sleep medicine works with the specialist to treat obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Our office can provide you with a sleep apnea oral appliance, just contact us for a consultation.
How is sleep apnea treated?
CPAP or BiPAP machines, as well as oral appliance therapy, are options available for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Oral appliances are the least invasive and often a good choice for the treatment of mild to moderate OSA. These appliances are meticulously adjusted to securely hold the jaw in a specific position during sleep, ensuring unobstructed oxygen flow and enhancing comfort.
All treatment recommendations should be made in consultation with your sleep physician. Once a treatment path that you can use consistently is chosen, we may be able to provide critical support for your efforts. If appliance therapy is selected, it’s essential the right method and positioning are designed to precisely maintain your airway.
How does the Vivos System® work?
The Vivos System® combines the use of oral appliance specifications developed by Vivos and prescribed by specially-trained independent dentists in cooperation with their medical colleagues. Vivos sleep apnea treatment is indicated for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep disordered breathing in adults.
If you have more questions about sleep apnea treatment and oral appliances, please contact our office and we will be happy to discus further.