Your snoring habit could be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that can have serious health ramifications if left untreated. Although continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines offer one solution, some people find them difficult to use. Dr. Angela Bauer, your Madison, WI, dentist, offers an alternative treatment that can help you keep your sleep apnea symptoms under control.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea causes breathing pauses while you sleep. Pauses usually last for a few seconds but can happen hundreds of time during the night. Over time, sleep apnea can raise your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases and conditions.
The problem occurs when your airway becomes partially or fully blocked, preventing a steady flow of oxygen from reaching your lungs and circulating through your brain and organs via your bloodstream. Blockages can occur if your tongue falls into your airway when you sleep, the walls of your throat become too relaxed or you have excess tissue in your throat.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Loud snoring is the symptom most associated with sleep apnea, but it's not the only one. If you have the condition, you may wake up abruptly during the night. These unexpected moments of wakefulness may be accompanied by choking or gasping for air. Choking and gasping are protective mechanisms that your body uses to restart your breathing.
This frequent waking also leads to daytime sleepiness. When you fail to get enough sleep night after night, you may soon notice that minor things begin to annoy you. In addition to irritability, you may have difficulty concentrating, experience a faulty memory, and you may even fall asleep at work or school.
Some people who have sleep apnea also wake up with sore throats or headaches. Although a morning headache will generally go away gradually, it can still be difficult to focus during the first part of your day.
How can my Madison dentist help me?
If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a CPAP machine isn't the only treatment that can help you. Many people find the masks uncomfortable and can't get used to the machines no matter how hard they try. In this case, a special oral appliance fitted by your dentist can help alleviate sleep apnea, as well. The comfortable device holds your jaw forward while you sleep and prevents the tongue from falling into your airway.
Would you like to find an effective alternative to your uncomfortable CPAP machine? Call Dr. Angela Bauer, your Madison, WI, dentist, at (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment and discuss your sleep apnea symptoms.
Are you getting the rest you need? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a full one-third of Americans don't sleep enough, resulting in poor job performance, daytime fatigue, depression and systemic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. At the Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea in Madison, Dr. Angela Bauer treats a common condition called sleep-disordered breathing, helping scores of people get much-needed healthy rest.
Your sleep pattern
There are five sleep cycles which should happen each night. The most restful is REM, or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. Without it, a person feels tired and not truly rested.
A common barrier to REM and a good night's sleep is something called sleep-disordered breathing. It's characterized by extremely loud snoring and periods of complete breathing cessation, or sleep apnea. A particular kind of sleep apnea called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, happens when the soft muscles at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway.
Snoring results and so does a degree of oxygen deprivation. Potentially dangerous, sleep apnea needs an accurate diagnosis by a sleep physician and precise treatment as well.
Diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing in Madison
If your loved ones complain about your loud snoring and you know you're not resting well, tell your primary care provider. He or she likely will refer you to a sleep physician for in-office or at-home sleep testing involving:
- EEG, or brainwave monitoring
- EKG, electrocardiogram to trace heart rhythm
- EOG, an electro-occulogram which records eye movements as you sleep
- Electromyogram which measures muscular movement
Your pulse, respirations and other vital signs will be monitored carefully, too, helping the doctor determine if you have sleep apnea.
A common treatment for sleep apnea is something called CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This bedside machine delivers air through a nasal mask, helping the back of the throat stay open as you sleep.
Some individuals, however, find CPAP difficult to deal with. So, Dr. Bauer offers a simpler and more easily tolerated solution.
Oral appliance therapy
Dr. Bauer uses custom-made oral appliances to help patients with the snoring and disrupted sleep of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Elastic Mandibular Advancement Appliances, or EMA appliances, place the bottom jaw more forward, opening the airway and keeping it open through the night. With stretchable elastic bands on either side of the appliance, this simple device allows the individual to talk and even drink fluids without removing the appliance.
Convenient, comfortable and best of all, effective, EMA appliances work by themselves or in conjunction with CPAP therapy. Weight loss, sleeping on one side and elevating the head of the bed are helpful strategies frequently combined with appliance therapy and CPAP. Your sleep apnea dentist will determine the right type of appliance therapy best suited to your diagnosis and personal preferences.
Your best night's rest
Let Dr. Angela Bauer and her team at the Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea help. For a consultation, please call (608) 423-3615.
Don’t let sleep apnea ruin your sleep. Our family dental group in Madison is here for you.
Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, and yet there are many people out there that don’t realize that their daytime exhaustion, bad sleep, and poor concentration are actually due to this sleep disorder. Our Madison, WI, sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, is here to tell you more about sleep apnea, how it’s treated and how a dentist can help.
What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and it causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. This breathing cessation usually occurs because the muscles in the back of the throat relax, causing the tissue to collapse and block the airways. As a result, not enough oxygen is getting to your brain and other parts of your body while you sleep, resulting in significantly less restorative sleep.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic and loud snoring
- Extreme daytime fatigue
- Falling asleep at work or while driving home
- An increase in workplace or vehicular accidents
- Mood swings
- Increased irritability
- Lack of concentration and poor memory
Do I have to treat my sleep apnea?
It is important that even if you just suspect that sleep symptoms could be due to sleep apnea that you have the problem checked out immediately; fortunately, our Madison dentist specializes in handling sleep apnea and can become an integral part of your medical team to help you manage your symptoms for the long run.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The most common method for treating sleep apnea is with CPAP therapy, in which a machine pumps oxygen to a facemask, which covers the nose and mouth of the patient while they sleep. The oxygen provides just enough pressure to the airways to prevent obstructions and to keep them open throughout the night, resulting in instantly better sleep and the elimination of symptoms.
While CPAP treatment is still the number one treatment option, it isn’t the only one. In fact, our dentist also offers oral appliance therapy to combat mild sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, this simple, custom-fitted oral device is all that’s needed to manage your sleep disorder. This tailor-made appliance fits over your upper and lower teeth and is connected on the sides. The appliance works by repositioning the jaws to prevent the airways from collapsing. Even those with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea may be able to benefit from oral appliance therapy in conjunction with CPAP treatment if CPAP alone isn’t providing enough relief.
Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea is dedicated to providing comprehensive dentistry to the Madison, WI, area. If you are someone who sufferers from sleep apnea and wants to find out the best treatment option for finally getting the quality sleep you deserve, call us today.
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea go undiagnosed for years because despite experiencing ongoing symptoms like fatigue and headaches, the condition is very difficult to self-diagnose. You may wake up feeling exhausted and irritable despite getting an adequate amount of sleep, but you may not be aware that your breathing is being interrupted while you sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause a range of health risks. Dr. Angela Bauer, a dentist in Madison, WI, offers oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea and chronic snoring.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Madison, WI
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is fairly common in the United States. There are three different types, which cause brief pauses in a person's breathing while they sleep when the muscles that control breathing and the tongue relax and block the airway. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring, but the condition can have a number of additional effects on your health and lifestyle.
Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Pauses in breathing throughout the night (usually witnessed by a spouse or partner)
- Waking up suddenly and feeling short of breath
- Waking up with a sore throat/dry mouth
- Waking up with a headache
- Daytime fatigue/exhaustion
- Difficulty focusing
- Mood problems/irritability
Oral appliance therapy is one of the most common and effective methods available to control obstructive sleep apnea. A common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) - Delivers compressed air through a mask worn during sleep, appropriate for severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
There are other appliances available to help keep the tongue and jaw in place and the airway open while you sleep:
- Soft Palatal Life Appliance
- Tongue Retraining Device
- Mandibular Repositioner
Some devices are less invasive than others; the dentist will help you find the treatment method that is most appropriate for your situation.
Find a Dentist in Madison, WI
For more information on the symptoms and treatment options for sleep apnea, contact the Dental Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea by calling (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bauer today.
Getting a better night’s rest could be just around the corner with oral appliance therapy.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans go through their days feeling extremely exhausted and zombie-like and don’t understand why. In their case, they might be dealing with sleep apnea. While this condition can be treated, if left untreated it can lead to serious health complications. So, whom can you turn for sleep apnea treatment? Well, it might just be our Madison, WI, sleep apnea dentist Dr. Angela Bauer.
If you are someone who has been diagnosed with mild or even moderate sleep apnea then you may want to schedule a consultation with our sleep apnea dentist in Madison, WI, to find out if oral appliance therapy is the right approach for treating your symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
While the traditional treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, we know that not everyone responds well to this treatment option; however, it’s important that there are other sleep apnea treatment options at a patient’s disposal. Oral appliance therapy can be an ideal alternative therapy for treating both loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
This oral device looks similar to a mouthguard and it is custom made to fit over the upper and lower teeth. You only need to wear this device while you are asleep in order to reap the benefits. Instead of wearing a bulky facemask while you sleep, you can easily just pop in your oral device right before bedtime and remove it in the morning.
This oral device works by repositioning the jaws so they sit forward, which allows the airways to remain open and unobstructed while you sleep. Of course, there are different kinds of oral appliances used to treat sleep apnea, so we will determine which one will work best for you based on your specific needs when you come in for your consultation.
As you might imagine, there are some unique benefits to choosing oral appliance therapy. The most obvious one is that this device is compact, easy and comfortable to wear. It’s also easily transportable, which is great if you have to travel often.
Our sleep apnea dentist Dr. Bauer at Dental Center for Snoring & Sleep Apnea is dedicated to providing its patients with the very best in sleep apnea and snoring treatment here in Madison, WI. We know the value of good sleep and our dental team is here to make sure that a good night’s sleep is on the horizon.
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