Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two of the most common sleep disorders. In addition to keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, sleep apnea can also present a serious health risk. Sometimes, both snoring and sleep apnea are symptoms of heart problems.
Without treatment, obstructive sleep apnea can significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and impact the severity of systemic diseases. Patients with OSA repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night. Reducing oxygen flow to internal organs causes the patient to awaken. Although many patients are unaware of their snoring, many experience similar daytime symptoms related to the disorder.
Dr. Doyle Freano treats patients with snoring problems and sleep apnea in Lexington, KY. Although many do not release that sleep apnea can be treated by a dentist, it is a common concern that Dr. Freano can address. Dr. Freano can use oral appliances to open up the airways and prevent sleep apnea symptoms.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep-disordered breathing in which there is recurrent blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Doctors characterize it by loud snoring, a sensation of choking or gasping for air during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Other signs and symptoms may include dry mouth, insomnia, morning headaches, and memory and attention problems. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. The most common signs of sleep apnea include the following:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Frequent waking up at night
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration
- Problems staying asleep
In severe cases, it can also lead to high blood pressure and heart problems. If you or a loved one snores, discuss this with Dr. Freano at your next visit. 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 a team effort between your dentist, your general physician, and/or other specialists. We will need to conduct diagnostic imaging such as x-rays to examine the airway and look for signs of blockage. Our team may also request a sleep study (polysomnogram) 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.
With the help of a sleep study, it’s possible to determine whether an individual is suffering from OSA. These studies measure things like heart rate, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels while sleeping. By providing valuable insights into an individual’s sleep patterns, these studies are help us diagnose OSA and improve the quality of life for our affected patients.
If OSA is diagnosed, your doctor will likely recommend a treatment plan that may include lifestyle modifications, weight loss, oral appliances, and/or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Treating Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help people who suffer from these conditions. From lifestyle changes to medical interventions, there are a variety of options that can help you get the restful sleep you need.
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.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can cause a person to stop breathing during sleep. To help you understand the condition better, read our list of frequent questions about sleep apnea so that you can get the answers you need.
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. Fortunately, custom-made oral appliances from your dentist have very high success rates and are much more comfortable to wear.
How Long Are Sleep Apnea Studies?
These studies can range from short-term to long-term, depending on the type and complexity of the study. On average, sleep studies take 9-10 hours total to complete. The physical time that it takes to collect data is around 6 hours. We may followed up after one year and then again after five years to see how long the treatment effects last, and whether you have any adverse effects.
What Are the Negative Effects of Sleep Apnea?
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. Sleep apnea can also increase a patient’s chances of having a stroke, heart failure, or heart attack. Some other immediate effects are headaches, irritability, and difficulty working and focusing.
Request a Sleep Apnea Consultation Today
Seek obstructive sleep apnea treatment in Lexington Kentucky with Dr. Doyle Freano today. Schedule a worry-free consultation at Complete Dentistry For All Ages by calling 859-251-3809 or requesting an appointment online today.