Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
Sleep apnea doesn't simply affect your ability to get a full night’s rest. It can also compromise your quality of life and long-term wellness. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when your soft tissues block your airways during the night. Because you will never get the full night’s sleep you need, you may suffer from chronic exhaustion and a host of other symptoms. OSA can also increase your risk for serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure and even heart attack. At Forney Family Dentistry, Dr. Melina Morrison can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea and, in doing so, improve your overall health. Contact our office today to learn more about the various sleep apnea treatment options available at our Forney, TX dental practice.
An Introduction to Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is rare and should be treated by a neurologist or similar specialist. However obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is relatively common, affecting thousands of adults and even some children. It is natural for your muscles to relax when you sleep. However, if you have OSA, these muscles may release too much. As a result, your soft tissues will fall down into your airways. When this happens, your breath will not be able to pass through, and you will wake up or move to a lighter sleep cycle. This can happen dozens or even hundreds of times each night.
Signs That You May Have Sleep Apnea
You may not know about the disruptions to your sleep because they may only last for fractions of a second. That is why Dr. Morrison will conduct a sleep study if you present with any of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Common signs of OSA include:
- Loud snoring
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up in the morning
- Chronic headaches
- Constant exhaustion, including daytime sleepiness
- Constant hunger or cravings for fatty foods
- Frequent urges to go to the bathroom
- Irritability or unstable mood
- Forgetfulness or difficulty completing routine tasks
- Low testosterone
Dr. Morrison may also recommend a sleep study if you are at a high risk for sleep apnea. For example, if you are overweight, have ADD, clinch and grind your teeth, or are diabetic, you are more likely to suffer from this condition.
Why Choose a Dentist to Treat Your Sleep Apnea Treatment?
You may be surprised to learn that a dentist can treat a sleep disorder. However, Dr. Morrison is an expert in the structures of the human mouth, including the soft palates. Thus, she is uniquely prepared to identify throat blockages and other abnormalities. Additionally, Dr. Morrison has a unique skill for devising innovative yet conservative treatment plans for dental conditions. She takes a similar approach to sleep apnea treatment, always beginning with the least invasive option.
Understanding Your Treatment Options
After a thorough diagnosis, Dr. Morrison will recommend the most suitable treatment for you. In nearly all cases, she will begin with either the SomnoDent oral device, the premier appliance used in COAT™ (Continuous Open Airway Therapy), or the MicrO2 sleep and snore device, the smallest custom jaw advancement device available. These comfortable, custom-crafted devices are clinically proven to treat sleep apnea by moving the jaw slightly forward during sleep, thereby keeping the airway open and allowing for normal breathing.
Most of our patients experience excellent results with the SomnoDent and MicrO2 oral devices. Nevertheless, we recognize that each patient has a unique set of health needs. If these appliances do not work in your case, we can refer you to a specialist for CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. A CPAP machine will keep your airways open with a steady, gentle stream of air. In very rare cases, we may recommend surgery to widen your airways.
Contact Us to Learn More about OSA
Thanks to our comprehensive care, you can enjoy a good night’s sleep and improved physical health. Contact Forney Family Dentistry to schedule your initial appointment today.