Sleep-disordered breathing, or SDB, is characterized by obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. SDB is used as an umbrella term for a set of physiopathologic conditions that cause abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, such as sleep apnea or UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome). These conditions could be isolated or coexist with various cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, and nervous system disorders. SDB is very common and has been shown to contribute or cause issues ranging from high blood pressure to obstructed sleep patters and road accidents.
This is why early diagnosis is immensely important. Here at the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Madison, WI, your dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, can diagnose sleep-disordered breathing and recommend the proper treatment for your case. Depending on your specific sleep disorder and the intensity of your symptoms, your treatment plan may involve a combination of the following treatment options.
Eliminating Contributing and Risk Factors
This usually includes losing excess weight for overweight or obese patients and eliminating sedative and/or alcohol use, particularly when it’s near bedtime. Take note that barbiturates, narcotics, and benzodiazepines could worsen or even cause SDB.
Changing Problematic Sleeping Positions
In some people, changing their body position during sleep could help improve SDB symptoms. For instance, lying supine could enable gravity to pull the tongue muscles back and worsen snoring. Instead, you should sleep propped up to at least 60 degrees, on your stomach, or on your side. These sleeping positions could help reduce your sleep-disordered breathing symptoms. At our Madison office, your dentist can recommend easy strategies to help you avoid sleeping in a supine position.
Using Oral Appliances
For some patients, an oral appliance can help improve the function of their airways and eventually correct sleep apnea. Oral appliances, also known as mandibular repositioning appliances or MRAs, can be extremely helpful for patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. There are many different types of MRAs designed for treating sleep apnea. In general, however, they look like mouth guards designed to fit snugly over your teeth. They work by repositioning your jaw to the correct position and widening your airway space.
Need Relief for Your Sleep-Disordered Breathing Symptoms?
Reach out to us here at the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Madison, WI. Call (608) 423-3615 or (608) 423-4275 to book your consultation with Dr. Angela Bauer now.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), approximately 30 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea. But despite it being very common, it usually goes undiagnosed since most of its symptoms, like loud snoring, breathing interruptions, and gasping for air, happen when you’re sleeping that most people don’t realize that these things are happening to them.
With this in mind, if you suspect that you have sleep apnea and not just severe snoring, visit us at the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea here in Madison, WI. You can discuss your symptoms with Dr. Angela Bauer so that she can make a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatments. One such treatment is oral appliances.
What are Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea?
For mild to moderate symptoms of sleep apnea, particularly severe snoring, doctors usually recommend oral appliances, also known as MRAs or mandibular repositioning appliances or mouthpieces. These look similar to mouth guards. You only need to wear it while you are sleeping at night.
How Oral Appliances Work for Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances are worn when you’re sleeping to keep your sleep apnea symptoms at bay. They are custom-made and fitted to your mouth to ensure that it keeps your airways wide open as you sleep and keep you from snoring. They are likewise more portable and more user-friendly than CPAP machines. This is why your doctor in Madison, WI, may recommend that you try an oral appliance first before a CPAP or other breathing machine. This way, you’ll be able to see whether an oral appliance will suffice to keep your symptoms under control.
Studies have shown that oral appliances could be especially helpful for people who experience sleep apnea symptoms when they sleep on their backs. They can aid in keeping your airways open in two ways. One, it brings your jaw more forward, and two, it prevents your tongue from hanging back.
The Dangers of Undiagnosed and Untreated Sleep Apnea
Left undiagnosed and untreated, sleep apnea could have severe consequences, not just for the person who has it, but for the general public as well. When you’re unable to get sufficient restorative sleep, it can negatively impact your emotional, mental, and physical health. It could result in chronic daytime sleepiness, attention and memory issues, depression, and irritability. Over time, you also raise your risk of developing heart disease, metabolic syndrome, stroke, high blood pressure, glaucoma, type 2 diabetes, and pregnancy complications among others.
In addition, since sleep apnea causes sleepiness during the day, it could likewise raise your risk of getting into an accident. Various road accidents, train crashes, and related accidents have reportedly been caused by a vehicle driver falling asleep on the wheel because of sleep apnea.
Ready to take control of your sleep apnea and severe snoring?
Visit us at the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea here in Madison, WI. You can also call us at (608) 423-3615 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Angela Bauer.
Nearly everyone snores from time to time. Unfortunately, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, snoring is more than just an occasional issue for 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of women. For these people, their snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that carries with it serious health consequences. Fortunately, here at Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Madison, WI, dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, not only treats dental health issues, but also offers treatment for snoring. Read on to learn more!
What causes snoring?
Snoring can occur due to:
- Nasal Congestion: Congestion may be an issue if you have a cold, upper respiratory infection, or allergies.
- Obstructions: Polyps or a deviated septum prevent air from flowing freely through your sinuses and can cause or worsen snoring.
- Weight: Your airway narrows when excess tissue forms in your throat due to weight gain.
- Your Palate: Your palate (i.e. the roof of your mouth) may also be a factor in snoring. If the palate is too low or thick, you may be more likely to snore.
- Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, narrowing your airway slightly.
- Your Sleeping Position: You may snore more when you sleep on your back. The position makes it easy for the tongue tends to fall back against the airway, disrupting the normal flow of air.
Can snoring be a sign of a serious problem?
Snoring can also happen if you have sleep apnea. The condition occurs when you stop breathing for seconds at a time due to an obstruction in your airway. These breathing pauses deprive your brain of oxygen and may occur hundreds of times throughout the night. Sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack and heart failure, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression.
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include snorting, gasping for air, daytime fatigue, dry mouth, sore throat, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
How can my Madison dentist help me if I have sleep apnea?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines keep your airway open with a constant stream of forced air. Although the machines can be helpful, not everyone can tolerate them.
Fortunately, your dentist offers an effective alternative treatment if you decide that a CPAP machine isn't right for you. Here at our Madison office, we will fit you with a dental device called a mandibular advancement splint. The device is worn over your teeth and keeps your airway clear by holding your jaw and tongue forward.
Need care? Give us a call
Don't let snoring affect your health! Call your Madison, WI, dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, at (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment.
Have you stopped using your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine because it's just too uncomfortable? A simple oral device provided by your Cambridge, WI, dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, offers another way to relieve sleep apnea symptoms.
Why sleep apnea treatment is so important
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing for seconds at a time while you're asleep. These pauses can happen hundreds of times during the night and occur when your airway becomes temporarily blocked. Blockages may happen if your tongue falls back against your throat or your throat muscles become too relaxed while you sleep. A blockage can also occur due to other factors, such as excess tissue in your throat or a thick or low palate.
Although a single breathing pause won't affect your health, multiple pauses deprive your brain of oxygen and increase your risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions. The longer you have sleep apnea, the more your risk rises.
If you don't treat your condition, you're more likely to develop:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Memory issues and confusion
How do dentists treat sleep apnea?
CPAP machines are effective in treating sleep apnea, but they aren't the ideal solution for everyone. Fortunately, there's another option available if you've tried every type of CPAP mask but can't find one that's comfortable, or find it hard to sleep due to the noise the machine makes.
Your Cambridge dentist offers an oral appliance that fits over your teeth. The custom-made device holds your jaw and tongue forward, keeping your airway clear. Many people who can't tolerate CPAP machines find the appliances to be a much more comfortable alternative.
Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances are completely soundless, won't dry out your throat or nasal passages, don't irritate your skin and won't cause bloating due to swallowed air. The appliances fit easily in your luggage and can be used anywhere you travel.
Don't let sleep apnea ruin your health or your sleep. Call your Cambridge, WI, dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, at (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or you’re concerned that your daytime fatigue and chronic snoring could be warning you that you have sleep apnea, it’s important that you not only have a sleep specialist that you can turn to in Madison, WI, but also a dentist like our own Dr. Angela Bauer who works with patients dealing with sleep apnea. Learn more about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy.
What are the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
OSA is characterized by these symptoms:
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Gasping or choking in the middle of the night
- Restless sleep or insomnia
- Morning headaches
- Sore throats in the morning
- Irritability and mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
- Increased injuries and accidents
What happens if OSA is left untreated?
Unfortunately there are many people out there that have OSA but don’t even know if. Since OSA causes shallow or paused breathing throughout the night this can result in serious health problems. Untreated OSA increases your risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Type 2 diabetes
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart disease
What is oral appliance therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is the way our Madison, WI, sleep apnea dentist is able to treat patients who are living with these sleep disorders. While you will need to go to a sleep doctor for a proper diagnosis, we can easily determine whether you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy.
This treatment involves creating a custom oral device that will cover your upper and lower teeth and help reposition the jaws forward to prevent the tissue in the back of the throat from collapsing. This device is only worn at night.
Who can benefit from oral appliance therapy?
Those dealing with minor symptoms may be able to properly manage their condition with oral appliance therapy. Even those dealing with severe sleep apnea may find better relief by combining oral appliance therapy with their current CPAP therapy.
Are you dealing with sleep apnea in Madison, WI? Want to find out if oral appliance therapy could be an effective way to manage your symptoms and help you sleep better? If so, call Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea today to schedule a consultation.
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