Sleep Apnea Therapy for Tulsa, OK
Sleep apnea is an interesting sleep disorder in that many people who have it are completely unaware. Most of the time, sleep apnea is viewed as extreme snoring, as the condition is most immediately recognizable through the deep, loud snores of the sufferer. Because sleep apnea is so easily written off as snoring, it can be missed and subsequently lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, when correctly identified, sleep apnea treatment is very promising.
The major differences between sleep apnea and snoring may help people recognize and receive a proper diagnosis for their condition. Where snoring occurs when airflow becomes obstructed, sleep apnea is marked with actual pauses in breathing during sleep. Airflow does not simply become obstructed; it becomes fully blocked to the point where the brain jumps into action, disturbing sleep. There are a few types of this sleep disorder, but the most common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), meaning that the cause is physical in nature. The good news about this form is that when the obstruction is removed, breathing can resume as normal.
Obstructive sleep apnea may stem from a deviated septum, large neck circumference that places pressure on the airway, obesity, or large tonsils or adenoids. Noticing the risk factors may be beneficial, but recognizing the various symptoms may be what raises a red flag that you or a loved one has a potentially serious condition. Some of the symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Gasping for breath
- Waking several times a night to use the bathroom or drink water
- Persistently waking with a headache or sore throat
- Feeling exhausted even after a full night's sleep
- Feeling foggy or easily confused
- Inability to retain information or focus on a task at hand
- Feelings of moodiness or depression
If these symptoms sound familiar, you or your loved one may have sleep apnea. To come to a proper diagnosis takes a medical examination and a sleep study, which Dr. Angie can help you arrange. Once the cause of snoring and other symptoms has been determined, sleep apnea treatment can begin.
For years, the CPAP machine has been prescribed to sleep apnea patients. However, due to the discomfort associated with the mask and constant delivery of air pressure during sleep, patient compliance with the CPAP tends to be quite low. In our practice, we have successfully treated a number of patients who had tried CPAP treatment but could not tolerate the bulky, uncomfortable hose and mask.
Sleep apnea dentists have the optimal solution to overcoming sleep apnea without the use of cumbersome equipment. By creating a custom fitting oral appliance, Dr. Nauman will have you sleeping like a baby again.
We will do all the groundwork with medical insurance and file the claim to maximize insurance reimbursement which minimizes the out-of-pocket cost of the appliance. We are licensed with Medicare to provide the oral appliance, and this allows us to use these benefits for those who qualify.
Sleep disorders can keep a patient from enjoying a full night's rest. When patients do not reach their restorative sleep cycles, they may feel extremely tired during the day. Daytime tiredness, inability to concentrate, and depression are all linked to sleep disorders.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is caused by obstruction of the airway. This may be due to the tongue falling into the back of the throat, or a jaw misalignment that reduces the size of the airway. This causes patients to have trouble breathing and sometimes blocks the airways to the point where they can’t. This serious condition can result in negative changes to one’s sleeping patterns and to his or her day-to-day life. It can negatively affect the quality of life, so treatment should be discussed as soon as diagnosis occurs.
When patients are diagnosed with sleep apnea, they may not realize that there is more than one way to address it. Many patients are given CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) machines to use at night to improve their breathing. However, these devices can be troublesome to use and many patients find that the masks are incredibly uncomfortable. Patients who are struggling with their CPAP machine may not be aware that their Tulsa, OK dentist offers treatment for sleep apnea symptoms.
Treating sleep apnea may be as simple as using an oral appliance. Dr. Nauman of Glisten Dental offers an oral appliance that is custom made to hold the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. By having the lower jaw pulled forward, the tongue is brought forward out of the back of the throat and the airway is opened up to reduce or eliminate obstructive sleep apnea. This appliance can also assist patients who deal with clenching or grinding their teeth at night, protecting the enamel and reducing damage.
The best part about treating obstructive sleep apnea with appliances made at Glisten Dental is that we work closely with your medical insurance to file your claim and maximize the reimbursement for the appliance. This lowers the out-of-pocket cost to our patients who have medical insurance.
Patients can visit Dr. Nauman to have their custom appliance created for treating sleep apnea. This can replace CPAP therapy, and many patients find that they are more compliant with this form of treatment than with the CPAP device. When patients comply with treatment, they improve their quality of life and are able to feel well rested and rejuvenated every morning.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have been unhappy with CPAP therapy, call Dr. Nauman to discuss the benefits of oral appliance therapy.
Contact us for more information on sleep apnea, or to schedule your consultation for treatment.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea or have been receiving treatment for several years, the questions surrounding this common disorder never cease. The team at Glisten Dental understands this, which is why Dr. Nauman has compiled some additional frequently asked questions about sleep apnea for you to review. We know there are many intricate details when it comes to better understanding this topic, so if you have any concerns or would like to schedule an appointment with us after reviewing, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Who is at risk for sleep apnea?
It is much more likely for men to suffer from sleep apnea than women, especially those who are over the age of 55. However, there are some cases of even young children experiencing sleep disordered breathing. If you smoke, drink alcohol in excess, are overweight/obese, or have additional fat around your neck, these can also raise your risk for developing sleep apnea.
What kinds of health problems can occur as a result of sleep apnea?
Naturally, when suffering from sleep apnea of any kind, you will feel fatigued, moody, or even battle morning headaches. However, the side effects extend much farther throughout your body. Some of the most common problems that can occur if you have sleep apnea include:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
- Adult asthma
How can sleep apnea lead to cardiovascular problems?
When suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your body ceases to breathe for at least 10 seconds. When this happens, your brain must attempt to signal the rest of your body to wake up and start breathing again. During this process, your blood pressure will elevate as a survival response. Because these instances of ceased breathing can happen once or even one hundred times each night, your blood pressure will rise and fall much like a rollercoaster. As a result, this can lead to a heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, or heart failure over time.
Will I need to wear an oral appliance forever?
How long you wear your oral appliance is determined based on a few factors. For individuals who are older and undergoing sleep apnea treatment, it is much more likely that this type of oral device will be a lifelong commitment. However, there are ways to improve your sleep apnea symptoms, such as:
- Eating a nutrient-rich diet
- Exercising regularly to lose weight
- Finding ways to relax and lessen stress
- Quit smoking
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
How will I know if my oral appliance therapy is working?
One of the most obvious ways to tell if your oral appliance is working properly is to ask your partner if you are continuing to snore or experience episodes of ceased breathing. You will also notice a dramatic difference in your energy levels, feel more rested, and be able to think more clearly than before. Because of the improvement in these areas, your attitude and mood will also be positively impacted.