Sleep Apnea

Take Back the Night

Chronic snoring may be a trivial problem for some, but for others, it’s a sign of a serious and potentially deadly health problem called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have negative effects on your quality of sleep, your quality of life during the day, and your overall health. Not to mention the toll snoring can take on your relationships with your partner and family. Thankfully, your Gilbert dentist has an affordable, non-invasive solution – without a CPAP machine!

Do I have sleep apnea?

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder where breathing stops periodically throughout the night. Sufferers will exhibit loud and frequent snoring, and will often feel exhausted throughout the day, even after a full night’s rest.

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and occurs when the throat muscles and soft tissues collapse and block the airway. This is the type we are able to treat at Stoneridge Dental.
  • Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea, also known as emergent central sleep apnea, is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Infographic
Click the image above to enlarge

Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea occur at night while you are asleep, so it often requires a loved one to notice the problem. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Excessive sleepiness

Risk Factors

There are certain demographics and lifestyle factors that increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, including if you are:

  • Male
  • Overweight
  • Over age 40
  • Have a large neck or narrow airway
  • Use alcohol, sedatives, or smoke
  • Have a family history of sleep apnea
  • Have allergies or chronic nasal congestion

Health Consequences

Left untreated, sleep apnea can significantly increase your risk of developing other serious health problems. When the only time the body can truly heal and repair itself is during sleep, it’s no wonder your health and immune system will begin a slow downward spiral if you have untreated sleep apnea. Sleep apnea sufferers are also more likely to fall asleep throughout the day, increasing your risk for work-related or auto accidents. A lack of proper breathing night after night lowers your blood oxygen levels, increasing your risk for cardiovascular and other diseases, including:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart disease (cardiovascular disease)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type ll diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Anxiety and depression

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Traditionally, the “gold standard” for sleep apnea treatment is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is a machine that forces air in and out of the lungs through a face mask you wear during sleep. It’s no wonder many patients find CPAPs intolerable because they are uncomfortable, loud, and invasive, and prevent the restful sleep they are intended to provide.

Thankfully, we have a better alternative for you at Stoneridge Dental. Many people don’t realize that dentists are experts in more than just teeth and gums. We have comprehensive, specialized knowledge in the complete orofacial region, including the teeth, jaw bones, TMJ, throat, head, and neck. Many people also don’t realize that a small, simple adjustment of the jaw position can provide relief from sleep apnea.

Oral appliance therapy uses a small device worn like a mouthguard during sleep. Oral appliances are custom designed to fit your mouth comfortably and address your specific needs. Oral appliances gently shift the lower jaw forward just enough to prevent the airway from collapsing, allowing you to breathe comfortably throughout the night.

If you have TMJ dysfunction, we can create an appliance that won’t disrupt the delicate balance of your jaw joint. If your tongue is falling back into the throat and obstructing your airway, we can create an appliance that will guide and hold the tongue in the proper position to keep the airway clear.

If you’re unsure whether you have sleep apnea, or have been diagnosed and are seeking a CPAP alternative treatment, you’ve come to the right place. We would love to help you improve your quality of sleep, your quality of life during the day, and ensure a healthier tomorrow.

Dr. Saydyk is a Medicare Participating Provider for Oral Appliance Therapy

For patients with Medicare, we will bill Medicare directly for oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea. We want to help ease the financial burden of treatment so you can sleep soundly.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about sleep apnea or would like to schedule a visit with your Gilbert, AZ sleep dentist, Dr. Nathan Saydyk at Stoneridge Dental, give us a call today at (480) 400-8700 or request an appointment online!