- December 6, 2016
What if we told you that more than 20 million people are affected by a health condition that raises their risk of having a heart attack or a stroke and being in a car accident? And what if we told you that half of them are not aware they have this condition?
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, that is exactly the situation with sleep apnea in the United States.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder, and the dentists at the LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania can provide you with a sleep apnea treatment. We will explain how in a moment. We also will share some common signs that you or someone you love may have sleep apnea.
If you would like to learn more about our treatment, call our dentist office in Williamsport at 570-505-6908 or our office in Collegeville at 610-228-4366. You also can contact us online by filling out this form.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Before we begin, we want to take a moment to explain what sleep apnea is.
First and foremost, it is a sleep disorder. This is a medical condition that interferes with your ability to get deep, healthy sleep.
In the case of sleep apnea, the problem is that you stop breathing when you fall asleep. When these stoppages occur because your airways are blocked, this is obstructive sleep apnea. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea.
With this kind of sleep apnea, the muscles around your airway relax when you fall asleep. This allows soft tissues to partially and at times completely block your airways.
Your body will wake you up when this happens. This will allow you to take a breath or two. Many times this is so brief that you have no memory that it has happened. Nevertheless, you are starting the sleep cycle over again.
This pattern can repeat from four (mild) to more than 30 (severe) times each hour. Each time this happens you are restarting your sleep cycle. As a result, you may never reach the stages of deep sleep that experts say are necessary for our overall health.
We take a holistic approach to dental care at the LANAP & Implant Center. Your oral health affects your overall health and vice versa. By helping patients with sleep apnea, we know we may be helping them in other ways as well.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine.
The CPAP forces air into your airways to keep them open so you can keep breathing. At least, that’s the idea. The reality for many people is quite different.
Some people find the sound of the machine makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Other people find wearing a mask irritating or uncomfortable. Still other people will remove the mask in their sleep without realizing they have done so.
For these and other reasons, many people do not use CPAPs like they should.
You have another option if you visit our dentist offices in Collegeville and Williamsport. We can create a customized oral appliance for you to wear instead.
The Silent Nite appliance is similar to a small, flexible retainer. It works by pulling your jaw forward slightly. For many people, this is enough to keep their airways after they have fallen asleep.
You may need a little time to adjust to wearing the appliance, but it offers several advantages when compared to a CPAP.
For starters, the Silent Nite appliance does not need electricity to work. Second, it doesn’t make noise that could distract you or your spouse or partner. Third, you won’t be restricted by feeling tethered to the machine. This makes it easier to find a comfortable sleep position.
Fourth the oral appliance can be carried in a case that can fit in a coat pocket. This makes it easier for you to pack when you are a traveling for vacation or for work.
Make an appointment at the LANAP & Implant Center today if you find your CPAP frustrating or if you suspect that you may have sleep apnea.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
As we noted earlier, nearly half of the people with sleep apnea are not aware of it. They have never been diagnosed, so they are not being treated.
We strongly encourage you to contact our dentists if you are experiencing these symptoms:
▪︎ Loud and constant snoring
▪︎ Frequent breathing stoppages when you fall asleep
▪︎ Morning headaches
▪︎ Frequent daytime sleepiness
▪︎ Feeling irritable
▪︎ Difficulty focusing on a specific task
▪︎ Frequent breathing stoppages when you are asleep
You may want to talk to your spouse or partner about some of these symptoms (although they have already complained about your snoring).
The LANAP & Implant Center is here to help you however we can.
Fill out our online form or call either of our dentist offices to make your appointment and start sleeping better. You can reach our Collegeville office at 610-228-4366 or our Williamsport office at 570-505-6908.