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Don’t be surprised if your dentist is the first person to notice your sleep apnea. He or she may notice evidence that you are starting to clench your teeth and you have cracked and broken teeth. More questions will follow; such as if you experience extreme fatigue or you wake up with a pounding headache. Depending on your answers, your dentist may refer you to a doctor specializing in sleep apnea for a diagnosis.
What Does it Mean to Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is having your airway fully or partially obstructed multiple times each night. The soft tissues in your throat collapse and you stop breathing in for 5 seconds or more. Your brain will tell you to wake up so the muscles in your throat tighten up, pulling the soft tissue back with them. People with OSA frequently complain of fatigue because they never reach the restoring REM sleep stage.
What Sleep Apnea Symptoms Bother People the Most?
Many people who feel too tired to do the things that they used to enjoy. Even a simple card game is difficult when a person lacks the ability to concentrate. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty remembering things
- Loud snoring
What Causes OSA?
Sleep apnea causes include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a large neck circumference
- Being a man
- Having a history of OSA in your family
- Consuming alcohol before going to bed
What Kind Treatments Will I Find for Sleep Apnea in Fairfax?
The first step to having your sleep apnea treated is getting a diagnosis from a doctor to see if you have mild, moderate or severe OSA. You will go to an overnight sleep lab where you will be monitored while you sleep to determine the severity of your OSA.
Oral appliance therapy is ideal for individuals with mild or moderate OSA. Always select a custom sleep apnea mouth guard from a dentist skilled in treating sleep apnea, since the appliance works by repositioning your lower jaw to keep your airway open.
CPAP therapy uses a machine to blow compressed air into your lungs to keep the airway open. It is an effective treatment when patients use it; however, some people feel uncomfortable or anxious wearing a mask all night.
Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea Treatment
How Do I Use an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?
Using a sleep apnea mouthpiece is very easy; our dentist will show you how to put it in your mouth. You wear the appliance, which is similar to a mouth guard for contact sports, at night. It minimizes apnea events so you can have restful sleep. Most patients find the custom-made device comfortable and lightweight. If you are considering an oral appliance for sleep apnea in Fairfax, contact our office to request an appointment.
How Much Will an Oral Device Cost?
We base your oral appliance cost on the type of device you need. After an examination, our dentist will explain your estimated cost. Your medical insurance company may cover all or a portion of our fee.
Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work Well?
Ye, oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP therapy. More people continue to use their oral appliance than a cumbersome CPAP machine. However, neither an oral appliance nor a CPAP machine is effective if it isn’t used.
Does Health Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Many health insurance providers cover treatment since untreated OSA increases a person’s chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. Check your policy for specific information regarding your sleep apnea coverage.