What is sleep apnea?
While snoring is a common symptom, sleep apnea is much more serious than a simple snore. It is a sleep disorder in which breathing periodically starts and stops during the night, and it can have a serious impact on your health. Sleep apnea has been linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease and more.
You may have sleep apnea if you experience some of the following:
- Loud, recurring snoring
- Daytime drowsiness or fatigue
- Choking or gasping for air in your sleep
- Neck size greater than 17 inches (for a man)
- Neck size greater than 16 inches (for a woman)
- Stopped breathing during sleep
- Unexplained weight gain/trouble losing weight
- High blood pressure
- Heightened anxiety, depression or emotional issues
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Acid reflux
- History of stroke or heart attack
- Falling asleep during the day when activity is low
What Are Your Treatment Options?
Oral appliance therapy is one of the leading treatments for obstructive sleep apnea, and Dr. Bell is highly trained in delivering this service.
There are more than 80 different sleep apnea oral devices on the market today. They look similar to a double retainer and are intended to be worn at night. Some oral appliances are designed to shift the lower jaw forward, while others focus on retaining the tongue to keep it from falling back into the throat during sleep. There are a variety of options for your unique case, and Dr. Bell will create a custom-fit appliance for you.
Oral appliances are safe and effective at treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are one of the least invasive and most comfortable ways to ensure your apnea troubles don't disrupt your life.
In addition to an oral appliance, we also offer Solea Sleep. Solea Sleep is a quick, comfortable, non-surgical laser procedure that treats snoring by tightening the soft palate tissue in the back of the throat. This in turn opens the airway and reduces vibrations that cause snoring during sleep. While Solea Sleep is highly effective at treating snoring, it is not a treatment for sleep apnea. If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea, we highly recommend a consultation followed by a sleep assessment to help determine the best level of treatment for your individual needs.
Concerns? Questions? We are happy to provide answers. We want you to feel safe and confident through every step of your dental care. Call our office today!