Sleep apnea is a common but potentially dangerous condition, characterized by repeated interruptions to your breathing while you sleep.
Most commonly, it is caused by a blockage of your airway when the soft tissue in your throat collapses. Episodes of sleep apnea — pauses in your breathing that usually end with you waking up with a snort or choking sound — might be why you find yourself waking up dozens of times throughout the night and unable to enjoy a full night’s rest.
If you are struggling with mild to moderate sleep apnea in Lexington, KY, Dr. Takacs and her Beaumont Family Dentistry team specialize in the use of oral appliance therapy to alleviate sleep apnea. We even have a special location, called the TMJ And Sleep Dentistry Center of Kentucky to better serve our patients suffering from sleep apnea and excessive snoring.
Read on for some commonly asked questions about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy, and give us a call at 859-251-5115 to schedule an appointment.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
If you’re struggling with obstructive sleep apnea, getting a better night’s sleep requires an opening of the airway. Traditionally, that has been done with a specialized machine, called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, that requires you to wear a mask over your nose and mouth while you sleep.
But a dental device can obtain the same results without the obstructive mask. That’s where oral appliance therapy comes in. With oral appliance therapy, we fit you for a mouthguard-like appliance that keeps your airways open while you sleep.
Research has shown that dental devices can actually more effectively treat sleep apnea than CPAP — simply because many who use CPAP find the mask uncomfortable and don’t consistently use it.
What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea?
If you find that you wake up multiple times during the course of the night for reasons associated with your breathing, you might have sleep apnea.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Snoring that interrupts you or your partner
- Lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
While sleep apnea can affect anyone, your risk is higher if you are a male, over 40 years old, or are overweight. Having a large neck (17 inches or larger for men and 16 inches or larger for women), large tonsils, a large tongue, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or any sort of nasal obstruction also puts you at greater risk.
If you’ve experienced these symptoms — and particularly if you fall into one of the categories considered to be at increased risk for sleep apnea — call 859-251-5115 today to schedule an appointment.
How Can I Tell If I Need Treatment For Sleep Apnea?
If you suspect you are struggling with sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Takacs at the TMJ And Sleep Dentistry Center of Kentucky by calling 859-251-5115. We’ll have you fill out a free questionnaire, and if it looks sleep apnea is keeping you from a restful night’s sleep, we’ll refer you to a trusted sleep clinic we partner with.
You may go in for a sleep test, where technicians collect data on things like oxygen levels, heart rate, and snoring while you sleep. Sometimes, these tests can be conducted at home. The sleep center will give you an official diagnosis and provide you with information about its severity.
Dr. Takacs can then better determine how oral appliance therapy can help with your sleep apnea. Call us today at 859-251-5115 to talk with our caring staff about getting started.
What Is At Risk If I Do Not Get Proper Treatment?
Quality sleep is essential to your success. Of course, untreated sleep apnea can result in fatigue and lack of focus during your normal, everyday activities. But it can also contribute to more serious health problems if left alone.
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beats
- Heart attacks
- Worsening of ADHD
Fortunately, all this can be avoided with proper treatment. Let our caring team at Beaumont Family Dentistry and the TMJ And Sleep Dentistry Center of Kentucky get you on the path toward a better night’s sleep and improved overall health. Give us a call at 859-251-5115 today and schedule an appointment.