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Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that keeps Goose Creek area residents from getting a good night’s sleep. Usually accompanied by heavy snoring, sleep apnea involves regular disruptions of normal breathing during sleep, sometimes even several hundred times per night. In addition to causing restlessness and fatigue, sleep apnea can contribute to serious systemic health problems, and can even cause premature death.

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We all know that a good night’s sleep is vital in maintaining energy throughout the day, and maximizing health and happiness. But the effects of sleep apnea go far beyond just quality of sleep and daily life. Some of the effects of sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Premature death

According to the National Institute of Health, 1 in 5 adult Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and 9 out 10 cases are undiagnosed. Goose Creek residents who fall into one or more of the following categories are at the highest risk of developing sleep apnea:

  • Male
  • Overweight
  • Over the age of 40
  • Regularly drink alcohol

It is important to note that while the above are risk factors of sleep apnea, women, children, and people of average weight can also develop the disorder. The most common form of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea and is caused by restricted airflow in the upper airway. Other types include central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea (central and obstructive), both of which have neurological causes.

The reason so many cases of sleep apnea are undiagnosed is a lack of understanding of the signs and symptoms. While some of the following symptoms may seem vague or unrelated, they could be warning signs that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Pay attention to these symptoms:

  • Loud, excessive snoring
  • Gasping, choking, or breathing disruptions during sleep
  • Severe daytime sleepiness & fatigue
  • Frequent urination throughout the night (caused by elevated blood pressure)
  • Morning headaches (caused by high blood pressure and/or jaw clenching)
  • Chronic heartburn

If you were diagnosed by a physician or other healthcare provider with sleep apnea, you were probably prescribed a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, and is similar to an oxygen mask that you wear during sleep. It provides a continuous stream of compressed air to prevent the airway from collapsing, allowing you to breath normally throughout the night.

While CPAP machines are proven to be highly effective, even considered the “gold standard” in sleep apnea treatment, many patients find wearing the device intolerable. It is bulky and semi-invasive, and does not allow patients to find sleep comfortably. It is estimated that only 40% of patients actually use their prescribed CPAP machines, and if you’re not using it, it’s not doing you much good.

That’s why the dental community has taken sleep apnea treatment into their own hands with the use of custom sleep apnea oral appliances that reposition the jaw to prevent the collapse of the airway.

At Goose Creek Dental Care, we love giving Goose Creek area residents their restful sleep back, that’s why we’ve partnered with Respire Medical® to help patients treat their sleep apnea. Our treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a simple, painless process involving a removable oral appliance, custom-made for each Goose Creek patient. These appliances, known as splints, are worn at night and effectively treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea by keeping your airway open. In addition, sleep apnea appliances can get rid of snoring, are great CPAP alternatives and often remove the need for surgery.

Respire® sleep appliances are designed by the experts at Respire Medical® to meet the requirements of each individual patient’s needs to help treat their sleep apnea. The Respire Blue Series® prevents the lower jaw from falling back, thus preventing the collapse of the airway, minimizing snoring and allowing you to breath comfortably throughout the night. This device was designed with patient comfort in mind.

The Respire Pink® device was designed strategically for patients who grind their teeth, who tend to break other oral appliances. Telescopic hardware allows for advancement of the lower jaw, and the freedom of lateral and vertical movement, which reduces forces on the attachments, resulting in fewer breakages and a longer lasting device.

If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, we would love to schedule a consultation with you to see if we can’t get you back your nights, your days, your health, and your life.

If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, we would love to schedule a consultation with you to see if we can’t get you back your nights, your days, your health, and your life.

Contact your Carolina Complete dentists at Carolina Complete Dental today at (843) 779-9445 to learn more about how sleep apnea is affecting not only you and your health, but your family’s too.

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