Sleep Apnea Treatment for Carlisle
Did you know that sleep apnea affects over 18 million people in the United Sates? What’s even more alarming is that a lot of patients don’t realize they suffer from this potentially dangerous condition. If you chronically snore or exhibit any of the other symptoms listed below, our team at Flenniken Family Dentistry strongly recommends you undergo a screening with your general doctor or sleep specialist. If you’re positively diagnosed, we provide relief in the form of a customized oral appliance. Contact our Carlisle, PA office today if you’d like to schedule your first appointment.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a patient’s airway is blocked (either fully or partially) while they’re resting. This occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much. Following this blockage, patients stop breathing and the brain sends out an emergency signal to awaken them and force them to readjust. These brief awakenings occur countless times every night and drastically limit the amount of necessary deep sleep the patient receives.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic snoring
- Constant daytime exhaustion, no matter how much the patient slept the night before
- Significant issues with concentration and/or memory
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth and/or throat in the morning
- Choking, gasping, or pauses in breathing during sleep (check with your spouse)
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is very similar to the continual use of a customized sportsguard or nightguard. Our team in the Carlisle area provides the device, and all the patient has to do is remember to place it in their mouth before they go to bed. As they rest, the appliance slightly adjusts the tongue and/or jaw keeping the airway clear throughout the night. Oral appliance therapy is most effective for patients who are simply incompatible with traditional CPAP treatment or whose case of sleep apnea is of the mild to moderate variety.
Not every patient benefits from oral appliance therapy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a complete loss. Instead, an oral appliance and CPAP treatment can be combined to create a more effective plan of action when combating sleep apnea. Patients no longer have to wear uncomfortable headgear or experience an overload of air pressure. Instead, the oral appliance reduces the intensity of the CPAP machine and helps patients sleep more comfortably.