Sleep Apnea Therapy – Richardson, TX
A Dangerous Sleep Disorder
Sleep apnea is a condition wherein there are brief but frequent pauses in your breathing every night. This condition makes it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and it can have a devastating effect on your health. Dr. Stampe can narrow down the source of your sleep apnea at our Richardson, TX dental office and figure out the best solution for keeping your airway open at night so that you can breathe easy and sleep well. Contact us today to learn more how our team can help you rest easy.
Why Choose Richardson Sleep and Facial Pain Center at Cityline for Sleep Apnea Therapy?
- Effective CPAP Alternative
- Experienced Team
- Convenient Oral Appliance Treatment
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea in Richardson is a disorder marked by repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night, which can occur dozens or hundreds of times in a single sleep session. These episodes disrupt the sleep cycle and make it impossible for people with this condition to get a full night of high-quality rest. It is estimated that about 30 million people in the U.S. have this sleep apnea.
There are a few different types of sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. It is caused by tissues in the throat that overrelax while a person is asleep, causing airway blockages.
Common symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Observed pauses in breathing
- Frequent morning headaches and sore throats
- Daytime exhaustion
- Mood swings and irritability
- Slowed reaction times
- Difficulty concentrating
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Although sleep apnea may seem like a mere annoyance, it is actually a dangerous condition that can negatively affect your daily life, your overall health, and your relationships with others. For example, it is associated with a heightened risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. It is often a contributing cause to premature death. Additionally, because it causes daytime fatigue, sleep apnea can also drastically increase your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The mood problems it is associated with may make it difficult to maintain friendly, peaceful relationships with friends and coworkers.
Dental Signs of Sleep Apnea
Compared to other medical professionals, dentists are in a very unique position when it comes to recognizing possible signs of a sleep disorder. Several symptoms might manifest in your mouth as a result of sleep apnea; a sleep dentist can look for these warning signs to determine whether or not you should have a sleep test performed. Below are some examples of symptoms your dentist might find that could mean you’re suffering from sleep apnea.
About 60 percent of people with sleep apnea also suffer from acid reflux disease. The link is not completely understood, but research suggests that both conditions can contribute to each other. Acid reflux occurs when the acids in your stomach lurch back up your throat; if they reach your mouth, they can get on your teeth and wear them down.
Dentists can identify patients that are likely suffering from acid reflux by checking the teeth near the back of the mouth; if they’re more worn down than they should be, it could be a telltale sign of acid attacks. It’s highly recommended that any patients that show signs of acid reflux be screened for sleep apnea.
Macroglossia simply means that you have a tongue that’s much larger than normal compared to the rest of your mouth. An enlarged tongue can lead to many different kinds of problems such as speech impairment, abnormal growth of the jaw and teeth, and ulceration. But one of the most dangerous consequences of macroglossia is how it can contribute to sleep apnea.
An overly large tongue can block your airway while you’re asleep. This can either be a direct cause of sleep apnea or make your existing sleep apnea worse. During sleep apnea episodes, your body might try to clear the airway by forcing the tongue to lurch forward. This may cause indentations to form on the tongue, which can serve as a major clue for sleep apnea.
Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind or clench your teeth involuntarily. This normally happens at night when you don’t have much control over what your mouth is doing. If you don’t treat bruxism, it could gradually wear down your teeth and may even cause them to fracture at some point.
In some cases, bruxism is connected to sleep apnea. In fact, research shows that 33% to 54% of sleep apnea patients may also grind their teeth while asleep. The connection is not completely clear, but some think that it might have to do with the brief awakenings that occur during sleep apnea episodes. The nervous system is more active during these awakenings, which might cause the jaw to move.
Dentists are well-trained to recognize the warning signs of bruxism. If they find evidence that you’re grinding your teeth, that could point to a sleep disorder, especially if you’re already suffering from other sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
A CPAP machine is the most common treatment for OSA. However, many patients find it to be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, you may be a candidate for an alternative solution from a dentist in Richardson. Dr. Stampe can fit you with a custom oral appliance, a small device that gently moves the jaw forward in order to facilitate uninterrupted breathing. Oral sleep appliances are easy to travel with, are completely silent, are free of wires and hoses, and offer a number of other benefits. Most patients notice an improvement in the quality of their sleep almost immediately after they begin using their device.