Sleep Apnea Ahwatukee, AZ

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to a few minutes and they happen many times a night. In the most common form, this follows loud snoring. There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As the disorder disrupts normal sleep, those affected may experience sleepiness or feel tired during the day. In children it may cause problems in school, or hyperactivity.

Forms of Sleep Apnea

There are three forms of sleep apnea: obstructive (OSA), central (CSA), and a combination of the two called mixed. OSA is the most common form. Risk factors for OSA include being overweight, a family history of the condition, allergies, a small airway, and enlarged tonsils. In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a blockage of airflow, while in CSA breathing stops due to a lack of effort to breathe. People with sleep apnea may not be aware they have it. In many cases, it is first observed by a family member. Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep study. For a diagnosis of sleep apnea, more than five episodes per hour must occur.

Treatment may include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and surgery. Lifestyle changes may include avoiding alcohol, losing weight, stopping smoking, and sleeping on one’s side. Without treatment, sleep apnea may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, obesity, and motor vehicle collisions.

SLEEP APNEA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Although you may be aware that your sleep is disturbed, more likely your symptoms will be noticed first by family members. The two most commonly identified sleep apnea symptoms are:

  • Gasping for air or choking during sleep.
  • Loud snoring.

The inability to breathe properly often results in sudden awakenings throughout the night that interrupt your sleep and prevent you from feeling refreshed throughout the day. As a result, you might find yourself struggling to stay awake during the day or feeling irritable and depressed. Other signs that you may be experiencing sleep apnea include:

  • Painful and inexplicable headaches in the morning.
  • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth.
  • Memory problems and difficulty concentrating.
  • Urinating frequently throughout the night.

It is important to note that the presence of one or more of these signs and symptoms does not confirm that you have sleep apnea. You may be a heavy snorer or urinate frequently throughout the night for reasons other than sleep apnea. To be sure of your diagnosis, consult with your dentist or doctor to undergo professional evaluation.

At Atrium Dental we can send to get a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. If you have mild case of sleep apnea we can fit you for a Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®). The TAP is a simple, patient-friendly treatment solution for snoring and sleep apnea. The TAP holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and cause the airway to collapse. It maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.

The unique design allows the patient to fine-tune his/her treatment at home and work with the clinician to achieve the best results. Patients are empowered to manage the degree of lower jaw protrusion over as many nights as it takes to achieve the optimal treatment position. The TAP has a single point of central adjustment, which prevents uneven bilateral adjustment that can create an irregular bite and discomfort.

The TAP has over a 95% success rate. It is the key to a snore-free, restful night of sleep. The TAP also treats sleep apnea without the need for surgery, a mask, or medication. The TAP is recognized as the market leader in oral appliances for snoring and sleep apnea and is currently prescribed by over 7,000 dentists worldwide to treat snoring and sleep apnea. In addition, it is the most researched oral appliances on the market with over 30 independent peer reviewed published studies. A simple dental examination is necessary to know if the patient will be able to use an oral appliance.

If you don’t have sleep apnea, but you snore you can be fitted for silent night or EMA device, which will help you stop snoring.

The EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) oral appliance is a customized removable appliance created for the noninvasive treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The appliance is designed to both advance the mandible and open the bite to allow for less restricted airflow during sleep.

Come in to our office at Atrium Dental for a free consult for snoring or sleep apnea.