Do you or your partner snore, wake up feeling groggy or with a dry throat? These are just a few of the common signs of a sleep disorder that can also be a threat to your health: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Howard County dentist Dr. Ray Becker offers alternatives for patients suffering from sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy offers patients a more comfortable, functional option to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea caused by collapsing soft tissue in the back of the throat.
OSA is a condition that causes a person to repeatedly stop breathing momentarily during sleep due to an obstruction created at the back of the throat by collapsing soft tissue. Breathing is restored with a loud snore, sometimes causing a person to awaken briefly- and often waking their sleep partner.
OSA can become a life threatening disorder if it goes untreated, raising the risk of stroke and cardiac arrest. OSA is more common in patients who smoke, are overweight or obese and is also more prevalent in the adult male population.
Major health issues such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac related problems have also been linked to OSA, with treatment for OSA reducing the risk of complications from these health issues.
Traditional treatment for OSA has typically included the use of the CPAP machine, which is worn during sleep to keep the airway open with consistent air pressure. However, many patients either decline treatment or stop using the CPAP and its accompanying mask after a brief period because it is uncomfortable to wear.
Dr. Becker offers oral appliance therapy for treating sleep apnea, a custom made appliance that will fit more comfortably in the mouth and allow more range of motion while sleeping than the CPAP.
Effective treatment for OSA is dependent on patient compliance. Oral appliance therapy has proven effective for many patients because they are more likely to be compliant and wear their device every night.
If you or your partner snores, come in for a consultation with Dr. Becker to determine if a sleep study is necessary and get back on the road to better health- and a better night’s sleep!