Are you struggling with excessive sleepiness during the day? Do you wake yourself up snoring at night? You may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common disorder that can stop you from breathing or result in shallow breathing while you sleep. OSA can often be a life threatening condition if you don’t treat it properly. Our Columbus sleep apnea dentists at Capstone Dental can help treat this common disorder so you can get back to sleeping soundly and safely.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your tongue or tissues block the back of your throat. Because your airway is obstructed, the oxygen level in your brain will drop and wake you from sleep.
If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about getting a sleep test to diagnose OSA or another sleep disorder:
While our dentists can’t diagnose sleep apnea, we will work closely with your physician who has the experience and education with diagnosing OSA and other sleep disorders. However, our dentists can readily recommend sleep apnea treatments if you have already had a mild to moderate sleep apnea diagnosis. We can also readily provide home sleep apnea testing.
Our dentists will evaluate your health history and examine your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airway to look for signs that you may have sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is suspected, our dentists will provide you with a home sleep test to see if you could be a good candidate for oral appliance therapy. Our home sleep tests are much more comfortable than those found at sleep centers and consist of just a few wires so you can have a more restful sleep during testing.
If your physician discovers that you have sleep apnea from the home sleep test, or if you find your CPAP machine to be very uncomfortable, we can provide you with oral appliance therapy (OAT). OAT is used for both OSA and snoring and assists breathing by keeping your tongue and jaw in a forward motion while you sleep. Many patients find oral appliances to be a much more comfortable way to treat their sleep apnea and other sleep-breathing disorders.
While OAT has effectively treated many of our patients, there are no guarantees that it will be as effective for you as every case is different and there are many factors that influence the upper airway during sleep. CPAP masks may be a better OSA treatment for some patients who have severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Other accepted treatments for sleep apnea and sleep-related breathing disorders include behavioral modification, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and various surgeries. The risks and benefits of these alternative treatments should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to get properly diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Our skilled dentists at Capstone Dental in Columbus offer home sleep tests and can work with your physician to diagnose and treat your sleep apnea symptoms. Let us help you sleep better. Contact us today to schedule an exam.