Sleep Apnea Treatment

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Sleep Apnea Treatment in Arlington, TX

Did you know that your dentist can oftentimes help you treat sleep apnea and chronic snoring? If you suffer from loud snoring, insomnia, or excessive daytime sleepiness, you can experience potentially life-changing results without the need for a bulky CPAP machine!

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a health disorder that affects millions of Americans. More often than not, a person is unaware that one is suffering from it. Studies show that up to 90 percent of people with the disorder are undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is characterized by breath pauses during sleep that can last for 20 to 30 seconds. Several indicators of sleep apnea are choking, snoring, snorting, and teeth grinding. That is why it is often the sufferer’s partner who notices the condition first.

Types of sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea

The first type is known as central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is a known nervous system disorder caused by a disease or injury involving the brainstem. This causes delayed signals from the brain to the breathing muscles. Once breathing stops, oxygen levels begin to decrease. People suffering may not snore, but do experience shortness of breath.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

The other type of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is more common than central sleep apnea. OSA is caused by a blocked airway that results from an over-relaxed tongue and muscles, bone and facial structure deformities, and obesity. When the airway is blocked, the person will stop breathing and start to snort and gasp.

When the oxygen level is reduced, the carbon dioxide level goes up. The brain will try to wake the person in order to normalize the breathing process. The brain will try to open the airway by adjusting the throat and tongue muscles which lead to loud snoring. The person suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will not be aware of snoring or remember waking up for that short period of time.

Both types of sleep apnea have different causes. However, the effects are the same including, reduced levels of oxygen in the brain, excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, fatigue, and poor sleep. If the oxygen level reaches a very low level, sleep apnea can also lead to heart irregularities and high blood pressure. The disorder can also disturb one’s partner due to loud snoring.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

If you sleep alone, it isn’t always easy to recognize that you are suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could be that you have OSA.

  • Feeling very tired during the day
  • Finding it hard to concentrate/experiencing brain fog
  • Suffering mood swings
  • Morning headaches
  • Persistent snoring

​​​​​​​If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, you should arrange to speak to your dentist to be assessed and find out about the treatments that are available.

Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea

Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating better, and avoiding relaxants such as alcohol before sleep can play a very successful role in reducing and eliminating sleep apnea. It is normally advised that patients try these before considering alternative treatments.

CPAP machines are a very effective treatment for sleep apnea. They work by delivering continuous positive airway pressure which pushes past the obstruction and enables you to breathe easily. However, patients must wear a bulky mask over their faces while they sleep, and this can be uncomfortable for some.

Mandibular devices are also popular. These mouthpieces work by adjusting and improving the position of the jaw and retaining the tongue so that the airway cannot become blocked.

The devices that we provide at Pecan Park Dental are supplied through Vivos. These safe, effective, and non-invasive oral appliances are designed specifically for the treatment of maxillary hypoplasia and mandibular retrognathia – two of the most significant underlying conditions causing sleep apnea.

The Vivos System for Sleep Apnea

Pecan Park Dental is a Vivos® Integrated Practice where we provide sleep apnea treatment with The Vivos® System. This method uses nonsurgical, noninvasive, and cost-effective oral appliance technology to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

The Vivos® System involves the following steps to ensure that you receive the most effective treatment custom-designed to fit your needs.

Initial Consultation

Your initial consultation with our Arlington dental specialists will involve:

  • Preliminary health questionnaire & screening
  • Head and neck examination
  • CBCT scan
  • Intra-oral photos & measurements
  • In-home sleep test

Comprehensive Diagnosis

After the consultation process, we will perform a thorough and complete assessment of your screening results to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

Airway Intelligence Report

Once you have completed diagnostic procedures and required tests, our team will compile your Airway Intelligence Report which includes:

  • Complete assessment and evaluation
  • Airway measurements
  • Treatment goals
  • Treatment plan
  • Health insurance & financing

Life during your sleep apnea treatment

You will wear your Vivos device as directed, between 12 and 24 months, primarily in the evening and at night while you sleep. Most patients feel the effects of treatment within the first few days or weeks. During treatment, periodic adjustments to your oral appliance are made by our Arlington dentists.

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