Sleep Apnea & Snoring Therapy in Carmel, IN
In the past, patients suffering from sleep apnea were undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to the wide range of potential symptoms associated with the sleep disorder, including severe exhaustion, changes in character, and morning headaches. In recent years, physicians, dentists, and patients alike have become more familiar with sleep apnea and its side effects, making it more likely for patients to be diagnosed and treated. Being educated about sleep apnea is the best way to ensure you receive early, accurate diagnosis and treatment. Keep reading or contact our team to find out more.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Snoring occurs when patients’ airways are blocked during sleep, leading to loud vibrations. When patients cease breathing for ten or more seconds at time during sleep, they may be suffering from sleep apnea. There are three main types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to signal patients to breathe during sleep, while obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when patients’ airways are blocked during sleep. There’s also the possibility of experiencing a combination of the two. Patients can have hundreds of apnea episodes each night. At Kristoff & Associates Family Dentistry, we offer oral appliance therapy for those patients suffering from snoring and OSA.
There are two basic, non-surgical treatment options for sleep apnea: CPAP and oral appliance. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), as the name suggests, forces air into the nose and throat during sleep in order to keep the airway clear, preventing instances of apnea. While CPAP systems are effective treatment options, many patients struggle to adjust to the sounds and sensations associated with the machines, and this can complicate travel for those who fly on a regular basis. Oral appliance therapy is a comfortable, portable alternative. There are a number of different types and styles of oral appliances, but the method of keeping the airway open is similar. The jaw is eased forward, putting pressure on throat muscles and keeping the airway clear during sleep. This is the same technique used to keep the throat open during mouth to mouth. In some cases, combined treatment makes CPAP therapy easier to adjust to since the CPAP machine doesn’t have to be used at such a high level.