Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two of the most common sleep disorders affecting approximately half of the adult population today. In addition to keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, snoring and/or sleep apnea can also present a serious health risk. It has been associated with cardiovascular disease, systemic disease, and more.
Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and impact the severity of systemic disease such as diabetes. Patients with OSA repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, reducing oxygen flow to internal organs and causing the patient to awaken with a loud snore as breathing is restored.
Although many patients are unaware of their snoring, many experience similar daytime symptoms related to the disorder.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity
- Problems staying asleep
If you or a loved one snores, discuss this with Dr. Freano at your next visit to his Lexington KY dentist office. Treating a sleep disorder can restore overall health for both the patient and those affected by their snoring.
Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing a sleep-related breathing disorder such as OSA typically involves team effort between your dentist, your general physician and/or other specialists. Diagnostic imaging such as x-rays may be done to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. A sleep study may also be performed to evaluate the quality of your sleep. This study can be done in the comfort of your home, or at a sleep specialist’s office.
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Can a dentist treat sleep apnea? Yes! Dr. Freano offers oral appliance therapy to address the complications of snoring and reduce the health risks associated with OSA. An oral appliance gently shifts your jaw to a position that will allow more air to flow through the upper respiratory tract.
The oral appliance itself looks like a mouthguard. It is only worn during sleep, supporting your jaw throughout the night. Dr. Freano creates custom-fit oral appliances so there is no worry of it falling out or shifting around during sleep.
Do Dental Appliances Work for Sleep Apnea?
Dentists spearheaded the use of oral appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and snoring. Patients often complain about bulky CPAP machines making it difficult and uncomfortable to fall asleep. Custom-made oral appliances have very high success rates and are much more comfortable to wear.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
How long does a sleep study for sleep apnea take?
On average, sleep studies take 9-10 hours total to complete. The physical time that it takes to collect data is around 6 hours. It also takes some time to check in and get connected to the monitors that will measure you as you sleep.
What negative effects can sleep apnea cause?
Sleep apnea can cause many negative effects for patients. It has a negative effect on your quality of sleep, which ultimately affects your overall quality of life. If sleep apnea is not treated it can increase patients’ blood pressure. It can also increase a patient’s chances of having a stroke, heart failure, or a heart attack. Some other effects that are immediate are headaches, irritability, and difficulty working and focusing.
Does sleeping on your side make sleep apnea better?
Sleeping on one’s side is known to make sleep apnea better for many patients. Sleeping on your left side has been shown to be the more beneficial side for patients when dealing with sleep apnea. Sleeping on one’s right sides helps with sleep apnea, and snoring, so if you struggle with both of these, sleeping on your right may be in your best interest.
Sleeping on your side distributes pressure more evenly across the body and puts less weight on your airways.
Seek Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment in Lexington Kentucky with Dr. Doyle Freano today. Schedule a worry-free consultation by calling 859.554.1586 or requesting an appointment online today.