Put Sleep Issues to Rest at Fairhope Dental Practice

Have you been told you snore loud enough to wake the neighbors? Do you wake up your bed partner because of your restless sleeping or find yourself waking up and gasping for air? Or maybe you struggle with constant fatigue even after getting 8 or 10 hours of sleep.

If you have any of these problems, you may be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects about 18 million Americans, and if left untreated, the issue has been connected to life-threatening diseases like diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, the most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing when asleep (some patients with sleep apnea will have dozens of gaps in breathing during sleep)
  • Choking or gasping for air at night
  • Fatigue or constant tiredness, even if you sleep 8 to 10 hours a night
  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Persistent headaches
  • Memory loss or problems with concentration

Who’s at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Both men and women, and even children, can have sleep apnea, but there are certain factors than can put you at a higher risk, including:

  • Having a neck circumference larger than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women
  • Being overweight
  • Being a man older than 40 or woman older than 50
  • Being a smoker
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea

Can a Dentist Resolve Your Sleep Apnea?

Dentists track the health of your teeth, but dentists like Dr. Boles have extensively studied sleep apnea symptoms and treatments. This makes our Fairhope, AL dental office an ideal place to visit if you’re struggling with signs of sleep apnea. We work with a sleep specialist to diagnose sleep problems and pinpoint the root cause of your problem. The sleep specialist can identify the form of sleep apnea you may be struggling with, and then our office will set up the necessary treatment.

An Answer to Uncomfortable CPAP Machines

Researching sleep apnea treatments online will no doubt bring you to web pages dedicated to CPAP machines. CPAP machines were the most common method for sleep apnea treatment for years, but these devices are notoriously uncomfortable and usually have a patient compliance rate of about 50 percent. We’ve also found that bed partners, along with the patients, have a hard time getting used to the noise of the sleep apnea machines.

Our dental office does not use a CPAP machine to treat problems like obstructive sleep apnea. We can fashion a special oral appliance to be worn at night that will reduce your sleep apnea symptoms and help you achieve a peaceful night’s sleep. The custom oral appliance moves the lower jaw forward and inhibits the tongue from blocking the airway. You can walk away with your oral appliance after two visits. First, we’ll take impressions of your mouth and then fabricate an appliance based on those impressions. On your second visit, we will make sure your appliance fits properly over your teeth. Once patients begin using the appliance, they typically see results as early as a few days after wearing it.

If you’ve been told you snore as loud as a fire engine or you cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, call our office at (251) 210-7142 to hear how we can resolve your sleep issues with a comfortable, affordable oral appliance.