Sleep Apnea Treatment Abington, PA
McDowell Dental Treats Sleep Apnea in Abington, PA
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, at least 12-18 millions adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing in your sleep. The tissue in the back of your throat collapses, blocking the airway, which reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to your organs including your heart and brain. When the blood-oxygen level drops low enough, your brain responds and wakes you up to resume breathing. These events of a restricted airway can happen hundreds of times each night causing one to wake up feeling unrefreshed.
Sleep apnea has been linked to serious cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes. Sleep apnea patients are also three times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. It is estimated that there are around 10 million Americans who have sleep apnea but are undiagnosed.
Common signs & symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Witnessed apneas
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Increased irritability
- Waking from sleep with a choking sign or gasping for air
The only way to test whether or not you might have sleep apnea is to do a sleep study. We at McDowell Dental Group offer a take-home sleep study, called the Medibyte Jr., which is an easy way to discover if sleep apnea is an issue for you. Once the sleep study is complete a report is generated rating the quality & severity of your sleep. Based on the outcome, our doctors will discuss the different treatment options available.
Oral appliances (OA) are a front-line treatment for patients with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Candidates for oral appliances are those who do not respond to CPAP, are not appropriate candidates for CPAP, or who fail treatment attempts with CPAP or treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep position change. This small plastic device fits in the mouth during sleep like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances help prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep and promoting adequate air intake. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as weight management, surgery or CPAP.
Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Oral appliances are custom fitted by our neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Ashley McDowell, so that your jaw is properly positioned to open the airway without uncomfortable restrictive equipment. These appliances are small and easy to travel with making compliance much better than with the CPAP.