Are you tired, stressed out, and moody because of interrupted sleep? Sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops for periods of 10 seconds or longer, can interrupt deep sleep that makes people feel rested. Non-surgical dental appliances have proven more effective than surgery for many sleep apnea patients.
What is Sleep Apnea?
When a sleeping person stops breathing for 10 or more seconds, they have “apnea.” OSAS, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is one type of sleep apnea. Lack of adequate breath during sleep reduces airflow, causing the brain to tell the body to wake up and breathe. In some cases, sleep apnea patients only move into a lighter stage of sleep, while other times, patients wake completely.
What’s the Problem?
Many factors may contribute to airway blockage, from the size of passages and oral or airway structures, to swelling of passageways or position of the tongue. Disrupted deep sleep can affect mood, health, and cause daytime sleepiness. The added stress and fatigue can cause lack of concentration, loss of memory, and accidents in the workplace or while driving. Other health risks include high blood pressure and heart problems, and even a risk of premature death. The sleep apnea patient’s snores can disturb a sleeping partner’s rest, too. Read this article on Men's Health Magazine to learn how even healthy men are susceptible to the grave dangers of sleep apnea.
Non-Surgical Sleep Apnea Therapies
A few tests can determine whether you suffer from OSAS, and non-surgical therapies may alleviate the problem. A nasal mask (CPAP) can deliver air to keep nasal passages open during sleep, but some people find this device cumbersome or discover that they’re CPAP intolerant. These patients have an excellent alternative with a dental appliance like the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). Similar to an athletic mouthguard, but worn during sleep, the adjustable TAP oral appliance will reposition your jaw, keeping the airway clear throughout the night. You will wear trays that fit snugly over your teeth. The TAP’s unique design also allows you to adjust jaw position if you see decreased effectiveness after a certain period of time.
According to experts, sleep apnea is an under-diagnosed condition, and more men than women suffer. If your sleeping partner says you snore or stop breathing while asleep, or if you experience daytime sleepiness, contact us for a consultation. A sleep apnea device may improve your quality of life. It’s just another way your dentist can help you smile.
One of the surgical options is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is sometimes done with the assistance of a laser and is called a laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUPP). In other cases, a radio-frequency probe is utilized to tighten the soft palate. These procedures usually performed under light IV sedation in the office.
In more complex cases, the bones of the upper and lower jaw may be repositioned to increase the size of the airway (orthognathic surgery). This procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia and requires a one to two day overnight stay in the hospital.
PROVIDING STUNNING SOLUTIONS FOR PROBLEM SMILES
Monday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch)
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch)
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you experience a dental emergency, we’ll see you in our office the same day. Please call our main phone line for information. As a skilled general dentist, Dr. Ferrick stresses regular and preventive dental care to help avert emergency situations, which can require aggressive, costly therapies.
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Dr. Reed Ferrick | 3750 Montgomery Drive Santa Rosa, California 95405 | Main: 707-542-6772 | Fax: 707-542-5939
Dr Reed Ferrick, your
Santa Rosa Cosmetic Dentist, Provides
Restorative Dentistry to patients
in the Sonoma County commmunities of Windsor • Rohnert Park • Healdsburg • Sebastopol • Calistoga CA.