Over 90 million Americans suffer from a sleep-related disorder, and struggle to gain an appropriate amount of sleep each night, often experiencing restless and interrupted sleep. There are over 84 sleep-related illnesses in existence, and many people who suffer from a sleep disorder never receive a diagnosis. Lack of quality sleep has been associated with serious health issues such as heart disease and psychiatric well-being. At Elite Dental, we can utilize dental technology to treat sleep apnea and snoring.
People with sleep apnea stop breathing for about 10 seconds hundreds of times during sleep. This is due to the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapsing and therefore closing off the airway- causing a drop in oxygen levels and an increase in carbon dioxide. When this occurs the body momentarily wakes itself up, and is usually accompanied by a chocking/ gagging feeling. Snoring is one of the major indicators of sleep apnea, as 90% of snorers have this disorder.
Sufferers of sleep apnea can experience a range of symptoms
If you suffer from any of the symptoms described above, you may have undiagnosed sleep apnea. We can conduct an oral examination to check for signs of the disorder including digital X-rays, diagnostic models, and impressions. We will then refer you to a sleep specialist, to obtain a thorough medical diagnosis.
Sleep apnea has been shown to be responsible for approximately 400,000 car accidents in America annually. Sadly, untreated sleep apnea is responsible for 1,400 deaths every year. Other risks associated with sleep apnea includes:
Studies have shown that 3% of children suffer hyperactivity and difficulty in school due to sleep apnea.
Traditional treatment of sleep apnea included the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask, which can be uncomfortable and awkward. At Elite Dental we offer oral appliance therapy as a highly viable treatment option. An oral appliance is a small plastic device that is worn like a sports mouth guard during sleep and prevents the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues at the back of the throat. This method keeps the airway open and promotes adequate air intake.
Oral appliances treat sleep apnea by addressing the physical issues that are preventing adequate airflow.
An oral appliance can:
We also recommend lifestyle changes such as weight loss, reduction in nicotine and alcohol consumption and regular exercise.