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Posts for tag: oral appliance

October 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea   oral appliance  

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.

 Continuous Positive Airway PressureYour 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.

November 22, 2017
Category: Sleep Apnea
Tags: oral appliance  

Have you given up on finding a comfortable solution to stop your snoring or sleep apnea? Dr. Angela Bauer of the Dental Center for oral applianceSnoring and Sleep Apnea in Madison, WI, discusses snoring and explains how you can benefit from an oral appliance.

Why do I snore?

You're never more relaxed than when you're sleeping. As you drift into a deep sleep, the walls of your throat relax and narrow. Your tongue may also fall backwards, blocking your airway. If your airway is blocked or narrows substantially, your throat and your tongue vibrate with every breath you take. Those vibrations produce the loud sounds we associate with snoring. Snoring can also occur due to nasal congestion and may be more likely to happen if you've had an alcoholic beverage or sleep on your back.

In some cases, snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop breathing due to an airway blockage. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing hundreds of times during the night for several seconds each time. In addition to making you feel fatigued, sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes.

How can an oral appliance help me?

Keeping your airway open is the key to preventing both snoring and sleep apnea. If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend that you use a continuous positive airway (CPAP) machine, a device that forces a steady stream of air into your throat. Unfortunately, not everyone can adjust to using a CPAP machine.

An oral appliance worn over your teeth like a nightguard provides another solution. The appliance repositions your jaw and prevents your tongue from falling into your airway while sleep. Your oral appliance is fitted in our Madison dental office, but may covered by medical insurance if recommended by your physician. Oral appliances offer a comfortable alternative to CPAP machines, don't produce any annoying sounds and don't take up much room in your luggage when you travel.

Would you like to find out if an oral appliance can improve your sleep apnea symptoms or prevent snoring? Call Madison, WI, dentist Dr. Bauer at (608) 423-3615 to schedule an appointment.

April 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea   oral appliance  

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can lead to several serious health problems if it isn't treated promptly. Dr. Angela Bauer, sleep apneayour Madison, WI dentist, answers a few questions about sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your brain is temporarily deprived of oxygen when you sleep. When you fall asleep, your tongue and throat muscles relax, which causes your airway to become narrower than usual. If you have sleep apnea, your airway may occasionally close completely for a few seconds.

Why is sleep apnea dangerous?

Oxygen deprivation, even if it's only for a few seconds at a time, can have a serious impact on your health if it occurs night after night. Sleep apnea can lead to:

  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Worsening of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms
  • Diabetes

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air
  • Short pauses in breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty remembering things or concentrating on tasks

How is sleep apnea treated?

The sleep disorder is frequently treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. Sleep apnea patients wear special masks that constantly release a stream of air into their throats, preventing airway collapse.

Although CPAP treatment is very effective, some people can't get used to wearing the masks. Madison dentists offer oral appliance therapy, another treatment option that can be easier to tolerate. If you choose oral appliance therapy, you'll be fitted with a special device that you'll wear when you sleep.

The device looks like a mouth guard and keeps your airway open by holding your tongue in the proper position or by moving your lower jaw forward. Since your oral appliance is so small, you can easily take it with you when you travel, and you may find it more comfortable than a CPAP mask.

Are you concerned that you have sleep apnea, but don't think you could handle wearing a CPAP mask? Call Madison, WI dentist, Dr. Angela Bauer, at (608) 423-3615 and find out how a custom-made oral appliance can help you overcome sleep apnea.