Oral Appliance Therapy For The Treatment Of Sleep Apnea
The most common warning sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is frequent, loud snoring. There is a good chance that your dentist will be the first healthcare professional who discovers the possibility of having this disorder. Naturally, before you visit Sherman Oaks Dentistry for a Los Angeles sleep apnea treatment allow your family physician, or a sleep medicine specialist, to diagnose your condition.
Based on a person’s bi-annual check-ups at the dentist, a dental exam can reveal a lot about the presence of sleep apnea or OSA. If our dentist has a reason to be concerned about this, they will most likely send you to a sleep medicine specialist for assessment. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, or OSA, return to Sherman Oaks Dentistry. We will be able to determine a sleep apnea treatment, in Los Angeles, that is best suited to your individual needs.
The Warning Signs
One of the dilemmas surrounding sleep apnea is that the person suffering with it rarely remembers how much their sleep has been interrupted. It is usually the partner who notices the breathing issues, and if ignored, the health risks are high. The following are the more common warning signs:
- Excessive daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Frequent choking, gasping for air, or snoring during sleep
- Impaired emotional or mental functioning
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
If you’ve notice that you or a loved one is exhibiting these warning signs, it may be time to consider contacting us about a solution. We will be able to start assessing your situation, and determine if the next step is to send you to a sleep medicine specialist for a confirmation of the disorder.
No two cases of sleep apnea or OSA are alike. At Sherman Oaks Dentistry, sleep apnea treatment in Los Angeles varies depending on how severe the disorder is. We will recommend one of the following based on the severity of your condition.
- If you have a mild case of sleep apnea, you may just need to make some behavioral and lifestyle changes. The changes may be as simple as altering your sleeping position, losing weight, quitting smoking or wearing a jaw-repositioning appliance while sleeping.
- Dental appliances are another solution and resemble the protective mouth-guards that athletes wear to protect their teeth. These devices can be custom-fit to reposition your jaw and tongue slightly forward, while keeping your airway open as you are sleeping.
- In severe cases of sleep apnea, or OSA, a more aggressive form of Los Angeles sleep apnea treatment may be required. This may involve utilizing a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure system. The CPAP device delivers forced air through a tube and mask; thereby applying pressure and keeping your airway from collapsing.
- Surgery is the final treatment option for OSA. The most common surgical procedure involves the removal and repositioning of excess throat tissue to widen your airway. During the procedure, the surgeon may perform a tonsillectomy, reposition some of the musculature of the soft palate, or trim down the uvula along with the soft palate.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages to these solutions, yet they are all effective. For instance, the oral appliance is comfortable, can be conveniently stored when traveling, easily cared for, easy to wear, portable, and quiet. Most importantly, it fits into a person’s lifestyle, and is relatively non-invasive. However, if that has proven to be ineffective, your doctor might suggest surgery. You can always consider a second opinion, if needed.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of sleep apnea’s warning signs, and you’re longing for a good night’s sleep, it’s time do something about it. Call Sherman Oaks Dentistry today. Inquire about a sleep apnea treatment solution in Los Angeles that can be tailored to your needs. Our experts have dealt with such cases, and most of our patients with OSA have found relief. Call and allow us to help you sleep better and safer.