Suffering From Sleep Apnea?
Good health begins with a good night’s sleep. Sadly, about 40% of adults in the U.S. get less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
While binge-watching Netflix might be one cause of the American sleep shortage, there are also health related factors, one of the most common being sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD).
The most obvious way in which we feel SRBD is through snoring. The soft tissues around the back of the throat collapse while you sleep, partially closing off the windpipe. As air passes by, the tissues vibrate and cause snoring. Even if you think that the person snoring away is sleeping peacefully while you have to find a way to deal with all the noise, odds are you both are having a bad night.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of the most common forms of SRBD (apnea means without breath), and it usually includes snoring as one of its most pronounced symptoms. This means that the airway is getting blocked too much and that little to no airflow is occuring. The result is breathing trouble so severe that it leaves you feeling completely unrested even after hours of sleep.
The good news is that Alaska Dental Associates has been providing sleep apnea treatment in Anchorage for years. So if you are looking for a cure to poor sleep, look no further. Visit our dental practice in Anchorage today!
Correcting Sleep Apnea in Anchorage, AK
The connection between a sleep apnea treatment and dentistry is simple. Through the use of an oral appliance that we provide at our office, the lower jaw will be held forward while you sleep. Thanks to this movement of the jaw, the tongue is held away and will have difficulties blocking the back of the throat, meaning that there is a lower chance for obstruction. This sleep apnea treatment has been proven to work, and in comparison with other ways to deal with sleep apnea, it’s a much simpler option.
Signs You Might Have Sleep Apnea
Through an exam and consultation, Dr. Triggs can identify various signs that there is a need for a sleep apnea treatment. One of the most visible signs is tooth grinding (also known as bruxism), which is identified by worn tooth surfaces. Due to the grinding, many patients have receding and inflamed gums, as well as the obvious tooth wear and breakage.
An increase in cavities can also indicate tooth grinding. Typically, the force of the grinding damages the teeth over time, making them more susceptible to bacteria. This leads to sleep apnea because when you grind your teeth and tense your jaw, your brain gets a signal to wake up and get some much-needed air.
Oral Appliances for Sleep Disorders
Oral appliances carry many advantages over the most common treatment of sleep apnea, which is CPAP therapy (Continuous Positive Air Pressure). We definitely recommend going to your physician before deciding on which sleep apnea treatment method is best for you, but we can still explain some of the advantages:
Oral appliances don’t need a power source, making them a much better option for travel and camping.
Oral appliances are covered by most forms of insurance, so they are typically not cost prohibitive.
Lastly, they can work perfectly alongside most forms of CPAP therapy. Certain patients might require a much higher pressure for the CPAP therapy to be effective, but thanks to the effects of the oral appliance, the pressure doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the airway open and can help make the therapy much more comfortable.
If you opt for a dental device for sleep apnea, you can expect to use either a mandibular advancement device (MAD) or a tongue retaining mouthpiece. Each works in slightly different ways to correct your apnea.
Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs)
These are very similar to orthodontic retainers or mouthguards. They fit by snapping over the lower and upper dental arches and using hinges to connect the two pieces, one that fits over the lower teeth, and one over the upper teeth.
MADs work as a sleep apnea treatment by pushing the tongue and the lower jaw slightly forward, which prevents throat muscles from collapsing back. Most models are adjustable, meaning our staff will fine-tune their position for maximum effectiveness.
Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces
These are very similar in construction to most MADs, but there is one slight difference. A small compartment is fitted around the tongue and uses suction to keep it out of the way so that the airway is as free as possible. This device is most often used as a sleep apnea treatment method for those patients that can’t have their jaw repositioned forward.
No matter what your choice might be, the professionals at Alaska Dental Associates will make sure to custom fit them so that they’re perfect for you. These are also much safer than over-the-counter devices because they actually address the root of the problem.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Don’t spend another night losing sleep. Schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment today. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and we would love to help you rediscover them. If you sleep for hours and feel completed unrested, give us a call today and learn how Dr. Triggs can help with professional sleep apnea treatment in Anchorage.