Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy

Excessive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are issues that rob millions of people each year of the sleep they need and deserve. In order for our bodies to function optimally, sleep is a necessity – not a luxury. Ryerson & Associates offers non-surgical treatment for excessive snoring and OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that involves a cycle of breathing cessation and slight wakefulness. The cessation of breath is caused by narrow or blocked airways.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is tricky to detect from the patient’s perspective. This is because one is sleeping during episodes of apnea. There are some common symptoms, however, that might affect the typical OSA sufferer. Typical symptoms include waking with headaches, dry mouth, and lethargy. Since sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation, the symptoms of sleep deprivation like mood swings, memory loss, and issues with motor coordination can apply to one suffering from OSA.

Causes of OSA

The underlying causes of OSA can vary. Most of the time, the airway is not wide enough to maintain consistent airflow – especially when one has an obstructed airway. Obstructions of airways can occur as a result of congenital and developmental abnormalities as well as issues with jaw alignment. Excessive and bulky throat tissue can be to blame for episodes of apnea as well. Sometimes, the use of alcohol, sedating medications, and tobacco use can increase the frequency of apnea episodes.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Our practice offers a cost-effective and comfortable solution to sleep apnea that does not require bulky machinery or surgery. While some patients need surgical treatment or CPAP machines, many people can find relief with oral appliance therapy. This treatment option involves wearing a custom-made, mouthguard-like appliance while sleeping. The appliance will position the lower jaw slightly forward to widen one’s airway. A wider airway can reduce – and even stop – episodes of sleep apnea.

In order to receive an accurate diagnosis, one must undergo a sleep study. Sleep studies involve using medical equipment to monitor one’s vitals, breathing patterns, and brain activity when resting. The readings provided by a sleep study will confirm whether OSA is an issue.

Call our practice to reserve a sleep apnea treatment consultation.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea FAQs

What are the causes of sleep apnea?

There are a few underlying reasons a person might develop sleep apnea. While sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, it is hard to diagnose because patients’ symptoms can mimic a variety of health conditions. Moreover, when episodes of apnea occur, a person is unaware because he or she is sleeping. The most common causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), include congenital and developmental abnormalities near the airway, excessive throat tissue, and issues with the occlusion (alignment of the jaws). OSA can be exacerbated by the use of tobacco products, sedatives, and alcohol.

What are symptoms of sleep apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea can produce an array of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include waking with dry mouth, experiencing fatigue even after what seems like adequate amounts of rest, having dull headaches, and feeling irritable. Without treatment, having OSA literally leads to sleep deprivation. This is because sleep apnea interrupts the natural progression through each stage of sleep and REM. Since sleep deprivation is a common issue among OSA sufferers, the symptoms of sleep deprivation can apply to those with sleep apnea. Issues with memory, motor coordination, and mood disturbances can all occur without proper rest.

How can you stop sleep apnea?

Stopping sleep apnea starts with getting a proper diagnosis. This begins with having a sleep study performed. Sleep studies monitor vitals and brain activity to detect the presence of sleep apnea. Once a person is diagnosed, he or she can seek professional treatment.

Our dentist offers treatment for sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. This is a non-surgical treatment option that does not require bulky or loud machinery such as CPAP – a conventional sleep apnea treatment method. Many people prefer oral appliance therapy because it is convenient, comfortable, and portable. Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a custom mouthguard-like appliance that slightly positions the lower jaw forward to widen the airway.

Oral appliance therapy might not work for all cases. If we find that this treatment doesn’t meet a person’s needs, we will refer a patient to an orthodontist or oral surgeon.

Is an oral appliance affordable?

Yes! Oral appliance therapy is considered affordable – especially when one considers that sleep apnea appliances do not require replacement parts, electronic equipment, or invasive surgery. An oral appliance can last for years if it is cared for properly. Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea is also a convenient treatment option. Oral appliances are small and easy to clean, which means that caring for them is not overly time consuming and these appliances can easily be taken with a patient on trips. Moreover, this treatment option is silent and therefore won’t produce sounds to disturb those sleeping around you.

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