Sleep Apnea Treatment
508dentist provides treatment for sleep apnea in Attleborough and Swansea. Call 508-336-8478 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic health condition that causes either shallow breathing or pauses in breathing when the soft tissues in the airway relax and block airflow while you sleep. You may not fully awaken during these episodes, but they jolt the body out of the deep, restorative sleep we all need to function at our best. For some patients, breathing pauses hundreds of times each night, resulting in fatigue, trouble focusing, and a wide range of other symptoms.
The good news is that sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, specialized mouthpieces, breathing devices, or surgery. At 508dentist, we can diagnose your sleep apnea and determine the best treatment option given your preferences, lifestyle, and the severity of your condition.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) – CPAP Alternative
Many patients with mild sleep apnea can find relief using a custom-made oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea involves adjusting the position of the lower jaw and tongue to engage the soft tissues in the airway to reduce obstruction. If you’ve used a CPAP machine in the past and found it uncomfortable or if you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we recommend OAT, as it is an effective, affordable, and more comfortable CPAP alternative for a number of patients.
Other Sleep Apnea Treatments
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgical treatment to relieve your symptoms. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth to blow air into your throat, keeping your airway open with constant air pressure.
Surgical sleep apnea treatments widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the airway or by repositioning the lower jaw. If you have surgery to shrink the tissue, it involves a small shot into the breathing passages, while surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and the insertion of a stiff plastic material.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
The warning signs of sleep apnea include daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep, dry mouth, sore throat, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating.
What triggers sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the throat relax during sleep, blocking the airway and causing shallow or paused breathing. Obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol use are all risk factors for developing sleep apnea.
What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?
Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, mood disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
How can I treat sleep apnea without a CPAP machine?
Both oral appliance therapy and surgical treatments are effective alternatives to CPAP machines.
Does sleep apnea cause weight gain?
Yes, untreated sleep apnea is linked to weight gain—and weight gain in turn worsens sleep apnea symptoms. The best way to break this cycle is to treat your sleep apnea.
Call 508-336-8478 to schedule an appointment.