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Has anyone ever said you stop breathing in your sleep? Do people complain about your loud snoring? These are classic signs of a potentially dangerous sleep disorder.
Call our dental office to make an appointment if this is happening to you. Our dentist is experienced in recognizing sleep apnea in Detroit. We can help you sleep better and have more energy with oral appliance therapy.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the sleep disorder resulting in fragmented sleep. The soft palate in your upper airway can collapse causing pauses in your breathing from the obstruction. The palate collapses when the muscles behind it relax. Each pause in breath is an apnea. The pauses can last from 10 seconds to a minute and occur five to 30 or more times an hour. If you experience 30 or more apnea events per hour, you have severe OSA.
When you stop breathing, it’s dangerous to your health since your body becomes oxygen deprived. You gasp, choke, and then wake up momentarily to breathe. Your sleeping partner may be the one to notice the breathing interruptions; you probably won’t remember them. If someone mentions you stop breathing and then gasp for air while asleep, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
What Are the General Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
If you have OSA, you may notice:
- Complaints about your disruptive, loud snoring
- You make choking or gasping noises while sleeping
- Daytime fatigue after getting eight hour’s sleep and a tendency to fall asleep involuntarily
- Trouble concentrating
- Frequent morning headaches
- Dry throat from snoring
What Are the Most Common Sleep Apnea Risk Factors?
The typical person with OSA is a man over age 40 who is overweight; however, anyone can have OSA. Sleep apnea causes include:
- Being Overweight
- Family history of OSA
- Having a large neck
- Male gender
- Nasal congestion
- Additionally, people who have a large tongue, a shorter lower jaw, or large tonsils have a propensity for OSA.
What Are My OSA Treatment Options?
You have several choices for treatment of sleep apnea in Detroit. Our dentist will suggest lifestyle changes which can eliminate mild OSA in some individuals. Losing weight, sleeping on your side, and quitting smoking can also improve your sleep. Dentists also offer oral appliance therapy (OAT) in addition to making changes in your life, such as wearing a mouthpiece to bed each night to help keep your airway open. Oral appliances provide an easy, non-surgical way to help keep you breathing freely. Call us to arrange an appointment if you are interested in this treatment option.
How Does an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Work?
There are several brands of oral appliances you can wear at night to keep your airway open so you can breathe freely. Your dentist will decide which of the FDA-approved appliances are right for you. Oral appliances are effective at treating mild and moderate OSA. If you have severe OSA and cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, an oral appliance is an option. Surgery is a last resort since individuals with OSA need special care with anesthesia.
How Much Will an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea in Detroit Cost?
Your cost for oral appliance therapy depends on the device your dentist feels is right for you. If you have medical insurance which covers OAT, this can affect your cost. Our dentist can give you an estimate of your cost after he or she assesses your needs.
What Are the Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy for OSA?
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is an effective treatment for OSA; however, some individuals find it uncomfortable being tied to a noisy machine by a mask and a hose. This leads to inconsistent use. A sleep apnea mouth guard is comfortable; it resembles an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouth guard. You can still talk with your mouth guard in, you can’t with a mask unless you have a nose-only mask. Your oral appliance is custom made and adjusted by your dentist to be as comfortable as possible. Plus, an oral appliance is portable and easy to clean. It does not require electricity so you can use it anywhere and it’s always available even if you lose power. If you want to learn more about the benefits of oral appliance therapy, please schedule an appointment with our dentist.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Oral Appliances?
Yes, OSA is a medical condition. Check with your health insurance provider to see if they offer coverage for oral appliance therapy. We can seek reimbursement from your health insurance provider if you have coverage.