Dentist Orchards Vancouver, WA

Sleep Better

Sleep apnea

As healthcare providers, we’re concerned about the overall health of our patients, including their sleep health. Many people suffer needlessly from dangerous sleep disruptive disorders that keep them from getting enough oxygen at night, causing a drop in blood oxygen levels.

People with sleep apnea are 23 times more likely to have a heart attack. 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with sleep apnea before having a stroke. Our training allows us to offer you education and treatment surrounding this sleep disorder that is simple and cost-effectively possible.

Studies suggest that more than twelve million Americans have sleep apnea, and most cases are still undiagnosed. This is a contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and traffic accidents related to drowsy driving.

Dentistry serves a vital role in treating this silent epidemic. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances (sleep apnea mouth guards) as primary therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP treatment.

If you are concerned about sleep apnea, whether for yourself or a loved one, call us at (360)356-7791 or click the online scheduling link for a consultation.

Is there different types of sleep apnea?

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The most common type, it occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airway.
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA): This type occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  3. Complex or mixed sleep apnea (CompSA or MSA): It is a combination of both OSA and CSA.

It’s important to note that sleep apnea is a serious condition that should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep due to a blockage in the upper airway. Obstructions occur when throat muscles, the tongue, tonsils, or the soft palate relax and cover the upper airway, preventing you from breathing. Your chest muscles then work harder trying to open your airway and can result in a severe drop in blood oxygen levels throughout the night.

How do I get tested for Sleep Apnea?

To get tested for sleep apnea, you will need to see a primary care provider or sleep physician. The following are some common tests used to diagnose sleep apnea and other sleep disorders:

  1. Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT): This test involves wearing a portable device overnight that monitors your breathing, heart rate, and other parameters while you sleep.
  2. Polysomnography (PSG): This is an overnight sleep study that is performed in a sleep center. During the test, you will be connected to multiple sensors that monitor your breathing, heart rate, brain activity, and other parameters while you sleep.
  3. Oximetry: This test involves wearing a small device on your finger that measures your oxygen levels while you sleep.

Based on the results of these tests, your doctor can determine if you have sleep apnea and what the best course of treatment will be. It is important to be honest with your doctor about your symptoms and any concerns you have about your sleep. With the right diagnosis and treatment, most people with sleep apnea are able to effectively manage their symptoms and get the quality sleep they need.

What are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) Symptoms?

  1. Loud snoring: Bed partner will tell people with sleep apnea that they snore. The soft tissue of your tongue or soft palate , as the airway becomes partially blocked during sleep.
  2. Choking or gasping during sleep: People with sleep apnea may experience choking, gasping, or short pauses in breathing during sleep.
  3. Poor sleep quality and Excessive daytime sleepiness: Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and make it difficult to stay awake during the day, even after getting enough sleep at night.
  4. Morning headaches: People with sleep apnea may experience headaches upon waking, due to the repeated episodes of reduced oxygen levels during sleep.
  5. Insomnia: Sleep apnea can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to insomnia or restless sleep.
  6. Difficulty concentrating: People with sleep apnea may experience difficulty concentrating or remembering things, due to the chronic lack of quality sleep.
  7. Irritability: Sleep apnea can cause feelings of irritability, mood swings, and depression.
  8. Sore throat and Dry mouth: People with sleep apnea tend to sleep with their mouth open causing a dry mouth and sore throats.
  9. Teeth grinding and clenching: When you are sleeping, teeth grinding and clenching help open the airway. This can also lead to morning jaw pain.

How do I treat Central sleep apnea and Complex sleep apnea?

Central and complex sleep apnea is usually treated with CPAP machines under the direction of a sleep specialist.

How do you go about treating obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, a dental device, a tongue retaining device, and/or medication. Some common treatment options include:

  1. Lifestyle changes: Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and sleeping on your side can help alleviate symptoms.
  2. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy: This involves wearing a mask over your nose and/or mouth to blow air to keep the airways open during sleep.
  3. Oral appliances (also known as mandibular advancement devices): This is a custom-fitted dental device that attaches to your upper and lower teeth to help reposition your lower jaw forward to maintain an open airway during sleep.
  4. Tongue retaining devices: Tongue retaining devices holds your tongue forward by suction, treating OSA.
  5. Surgery: In severe cases, surgery to remove excess tissue from the throat may be recommended.
  6. Lifestyle modifications: Making changes to your sleep environment, such as reducing noise and light levels, can improve sleep quality and help alleviate symptoms.

Can a sleep apnea Mouth Guards Treat Sleep Apnea?

There are many types of mouthguards and dental devices. Unfortunately, not all of these oral appliances work and can make your sleep apnea worse. This is why you want to make sure you seek the advice of a dentist trained in treating sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.

How does a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard Work?

A sleep apnea mouth guard helps by keeping the lower jaw in a forward position, which helps to prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. By keeping your lower jaw forward and keeping the airway open, a mouth guard can help to reduce or eliminate the breathing disruptions that are characteristic of OSA.

Oral appliance therapy uses mouth pieces that are custom-fitted to each individual and are typically made from a soft, flexible material. They are designed to be worn comfortably in the mouth during sleep and can be easily removed for cleaning and maintenance. While they can be an effective treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea, it is important to work with a sleep specialist to determine the best course of treatment for each individual case.

What are the side effects of a sleep apnea mouth guard?

While people find mouthguards very comfortable, there can be some side effects if not properly fabricated and maintained. This can include excessive salivation, jaw pain, changes in your bite and tooth movement.

If you are concerned about sleep apnea, whether for yourself or a loved one, call us at (360)356-7791 or click the online scheduling link for a consultation.

Which sleep apnea mouth guard is the best for sleep apnea?

There are hundreds of different types of dental appliances that treat sleep apnea. Some of the most popular mouthguards are the EMA, Thornton adjustable positioner, and somnodent. Each mouth guard has different benefits and uses depending on your situation.

It is not a cookie cutter decision on which mandibular advancement splint to choose. Some sleep apnea mouth guards are better for people who grind. Other mouth guards are better at holding your lower jaw with missing teeth or teeth in certain positions. Still other mandibular advancement devices are better with skeletal issues.

It is important to make sure you seek treatment from a dentist that has experience with clinical sleep medicine and multiple different apnea mouth guards to minimize the chances of side effects.

If you are concerned about sleep apnea, whether for yourself or a loved one, call us at (360)356-7791 or click the online scheduling link for a consultation.

Which is better a CPAP machine or sleep apnea mouth guard?

There is not one set answer for which is better. CPAP therapy is extremely effective in sleep apnea treatment, if you are able to wear it. Common issues included getting used to it, claustrophobia, anxiety attacks with having straps on you, dry stuffy nose, skin irritation, and noise.

Oral appliance treatment is usually effective to treat OSA (Obstructive Sleep apnea), especially if fabricated with an experienced and knowledgeable dentist. Severe OSA can be trickier to treat with a mandibular advancement device. If not completely effective, it usually decreases the respiratory events helping with the daytime sleepiness and decreasing the side effects of the obstructive sleep apnea.

Advantages of sleep apnea mouth guards over CPAP machine are: 1) Nothing restricting your sleep movement, 2) no noise, 3) no need for electricity, 4) easier to travel with, 5) Helps treat grinding and clenching

There are also times where you can have a combination therapy of a CPAP therapy with an oral device. The advantages of combination therapy is that you usually need a lower pressure with the CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea. Combination therapy also has the advantage of providing a backup to the CPAP (an oral device). This gives you an oral appliance to use if you are traveling, in a location without electricity (i.e. camping), or if electricity goes out.

How much is oral appliance therapy for OSA treatment?

Oral appliance therapy is more than just a mouth guard, or a piece of plastic. It is providing you with the right mouth guard for your situation and condition. Getting the right position to be as effective as possible while minimizing the side effects. Also, treating the side effects if they happen and having proper periodic checkups.

Most of the time oral appliance therapy is covered and billed through your medical insurance. We are experienced in helping get mouth guards for sleep apnea covered and billing medical insurance for these mouth guards. We are also in network with some of the biggest insurance companies. Our patients find a typical range after your medical insurance benefit of $0 to $500.

If you are concerned about sleep apnea, whether for yourself or a loved one, call us at (360)356-7791 or click the online scheduling link for a consultation.

Need Our Help? Contact Us Today!

Contact Us

Dentist Orchards Vancouver

11215 NE Fourth Plain Blvd, Ste #106
Vancouver, WA 98662

icon (360) 356-7791

Office Hours

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 5pm
Wednesday: 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 2pm