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How well you sleep has a significant impact on how you feel during the day and on your overall health. If you snore loudly and stop breathing during the night, you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It can keep you from getting the good night’s sleep you deserve. If you’re not feeling refreshed after eight hours of sleep and someone tells you you snore loudly and make gasping sounds at night, our dentist may be able to help. Call our office today to request an appointment to learn more about sleep apnea in Vienna.
What’s Sleep Apnea?
OSA is a sleep disorder where you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, five to 30 times an hour. It happens when your tongue or the soft tissues in the back of your throat block your airway. When your airway isn’t clear, you don’t get the oxygen your body needs. You will wake yourself up to breathe again and immediately go back to sleep. You may not remember these disturbances and wonder why you feel you haven’t slept. People with OSA frequently experience daytime sleepiness.
What Are the Typical Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
The typical symptoms of OSA usually include:
- Loud snoring
- Choking noises while sleeping
- Daytime sleepiness
- An inability to concentrate
- Headaches in the morning
- Morning sore throat
Many people with OSA go undiagnosed for a long time because there’s no one to tell them what happens while they are sleeping. If you’re inexplicably tired all day and have trouble concentrating, record yourself sleeping and see if you snore loudly. Our dentists will ask you about your symptoms if they notice signs of OSA during an exam and send you for a sleep study. Left untreated, OSA can have serious consequences, including elevated blood pressure, heart disease, and workplace or vehicle accidents from being sleep deprived.
What Are Sleep Apnea Causes?
Typical OSA causes include:
- Being over 40
- Having a large tongue or large tonsils
- Being overweight
- A family history of OSA
- Having a large neck size
- Men have a greater risk of developing OSA if they are overweight as they tend to gain weight in the neck.
How Can a Dentist Treat Sleep Apnea?
OSA is a medical condition. Your dentist will talk to you about your sleep quality, go over your symptoms and check your airway. He or she will refer you to a medical doctor for a diagnosis. The doctor will write a prescription for a sleep apnea mouthpiece, which our dentist will have a lab create from a mold of your mouth.
What Does an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Look Like?
An oral appliance for sleep apnea in Vienna looks like a sports mouth guard, covering your top and bottom jaw. You wear it every night and the appliance, also called a mandibular advancement appliance, works works by moving your lower jaw to a slightly forward position to keep your airway open. The appliance has hinges so you dentist can adjust it for your comfort.
How Much Will a Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece Cost?
There are many FDA approved oral appliances. Your dentist will recommend the one which is best for you. Since your oral appliance is custom made, the price will vary. If you call our office for an appointment, our dentist can evaluate your needs and provide an estimate of your total cost.
Why Should I Choose Oral Appliance Therapy?
It is a safe, non-invasive way to treat OSA. Some of our patients have already tried using a CPAP machine; however, they did not find wearing a mask all night comfortable. Oral appliance therapy is also convenient if you travel. Instead of lugging your CPAP machine, and all the accompanying pieces, you just bring your sleep apnea mouth guard with you. An oral appliance is also easier to keep clean; your dentist will show you how to care for it. An oral appliance is also much less invasive than surgery, which is generally a last resort for patients who don’t respond to oral appliance therapy or a CPAP machine.
Can I Have My Medical Insurance Cover a Dental Appliance From a Dentist?
Yes, many medical insurance companies cover oral appliance therapy. OSA can contribute to many cardiovascular diseases, so insurance companies consider coverage cost effective. Refer to your plan or talk to your health plan administrator for coverage specifics regarding sleep apnea.
If you would like an appointment with our dentist to discover how an oral appliance can help you sleep better, please call us for an appointment.