Sleep Apnea

No CPAP Necessary

If you’ve ever heard of sleep apnea, you’ve probably heard of something called a CPAP machine. CPAP machines are highly effective in treating patients with sleep apnea and are still considered the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment. However, CPAP machines are loud, bulky, inconvenient, and uncomfortable, and often prevent the user from finding restful sleep – kind of defeats the purpose, right? Thankfully, doctors and dentists have joined forces to create an alternative treatment with oral appliance therapy. A simple oral appliance could help you get back your nights, your days, and your quality of life – for a happier, healthier tomorrow.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common and dangerous sleep disorder that affects millions of adults, many of whom are unaware of their condition. There are several types of sleep apnea. The one we will discuss today is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and can be treated simply and affordably by your McPherson dentist!

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep. This can happen for many reasons, and for some people, it happens every night. When the airway is obstructed, you are no longer able to breathe properly, if at all. This results in loud, frequent snoring, and choking or gasping for air.

Sleep apnea results in a lack of sleep, a weakened immune system, and increases your risk for serious systemic health problems.

Risk Factors

There are certain demographics that are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea and certain lifestyle habits that contribute to the problem.

  • Males over age 40
  • Overweight or large neck
  • Use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking or tobacco
  • Nasal congestion
  • Narrow airway
  • Family history
  • Spicy foods

Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most common signs, symptoms, and characteristics of sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Sleeping and breathing disruptions
  • Frequent urination
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Depression and anxiety

Health Consequences

Sleep apnea results in low blood oxygen levels, increasing your risk for serious health problems and a slow deterioration of the immune system.

  • Heart Disease: 23 times more likely to have a heart attack
  • Brain: 3 times more likely to have a stroke
  • Weight Gain & Obesity: Hormonal changes influence overeating
  • Diabetes: Causes insulin resistance and 3 times more likely to develop diabetes
  • Auto Accidents: Greater risk for falling asleep or tired, inattentive driving
  • Teeth: Nighttime grinding causes excessive wear, prone to fracture and breakage
  • TMJ: Nighttime grinding causes breakdown in the jaw joint

Facts & Figures

“Sleep apnea remains the most underdiagnosed deadly problem in medicine.”
– William C. Dement MD, Ph.D., “Father of Sleep Medicine”

Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • An estimated 18-30 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea are undiagnosed
  • 1 in 10 Americans have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is more prevalent than diabetes and asthma

Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea with other Health Conditions

  • 80% of people with drug-resistant hypertension have OSA
  • 80% of people with congestive heart failure have OSA
  • 72% of people with type 2 diabetes have OSA
  • 50% of people with atrial fibrillation have OSA
  • 35% of people with hypertension have OSA
  • 30% of people with coronary artery disease have OSA
  • 30% of people with angina have OSA

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is a special mouth guard or an oral appliance that you wear during sleep. The device gently shifts your lower jaw forward, preventing the airway from collapsing. This simple device allows you to breathe – and sleep – comfortably throughout the night.

Each oral appliance is custom made to fit your specific needs. Your device will be comfortable to wear and highly effective at treating your sleep apnea. There’s no need for an electrical outlet and a machine to help you breathe. Oral appliance therapy lets you do the breathing yourself because your airway will be gently kept open by the slight repositioning of the lower jaw.

Imagine being able to sleep and breathe comfortably throughout the night again. You will wake up finally feeling rested and able to take on the day. Your family will thank you for seeking treatment, as your sleep apnea affects everyone in the house. You will have more energy to spend time with your family, and they won’t have to put up with your exhaustion and constant snoring.

Oral appliance therapy is a simple, effective solution for a common and dangerous problem. Your McPherson dentists have helped many patients take control of their health with sleep apnea treatment.

If you have any questions about sleep apnea treatment or would like to schedule a visit with your McPherson sleep dentist, Dr. Wince and Dr. Jeffers-Jader at Wince Family Dental Associates, give us a call today or schedule a visit online! Serving our friends, family and neighbors in McPherson, Wichita, Salina, Newton, Hutchinson, and beyond.