Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening disorder that affects millions of Americans. Sleep apnea should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to avoid long-term oral and systemic health concerns.
Sleep apnea is a condition caused by the blockage of the airway while sleeping. In many cases, the soft tissues and tongue collapse, impeding the natural flow of oxygen throughout the body. The organs are deprived of oxygen and cause the patient to wake many times during the night gasping for air. Some patients wake up as often as 30 times per hour.
Greeley, CO dentists Dr. Kami Marr and Kevin Marr offer oral sleep appliances for the convenient and effective treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea. There are several types of oral sleep appliances and treatment will be determined on the severity of your sleep apnea. A comprehensive sleep study and oral health exam will be completed to determine the most effective treatment option.
The Effects of Sleep Apnea
Many patients wait far too long to seek treatment for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause more than a poor night’s rest. Interrupted sleep and a lack of proper oxygen flow can cause a wide range of health disorders and raise your risk for stroke and heart attack. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and seeking treatment could save your life.
If you are a smoker, overweight, drink alcohol or have diabetes you may be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Men, and particularly men over the age of 40 are much more likely to have sleep apnea. Patients who snore often have sleep apnea, although snoring does not necessarily mean a patient has sleep apnea.
Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Dry mouth
- Chronic fatigue, daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
Treating Sleep Apnea: Appliances
Our dentists are trained in designing custom oral appliances that work to adjust the position of the tongue and jaw. Oral appliances are often more effective and comfortable than the traditional C-Pap machine. Many patients enjoy the discreetness, comfort, and portability of an oral sleep appliance. A custom made oral appliance is far more effective and comfortable than those readily available over the counter.
- TAP® 3 (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)
The TAP® 3 is small, comfortable and discreet. TAP is a two-part custom-fabricated appliance that fits over the teeth and is similar to a traditional sports mouthguard. The appliance shifts the jaw forward preventing the tongue from collapsing into the airway. This helps to keep the airway open allowing oxygen to flow normally. The device is adjustable for optimal comfort. The TAP® 3 appliance can effectively adjust malocclusion for a better nights rest.
- OASYS Appliance
By gently repositioning the jawbone The OASYS appliance pushes the tongue toward the front of the mouth. Shifting the tongue forward opens the oropharynx, strengthening the upper airway. The upper shield projects toward the nose, opening the nasal passage allowing for a normal airflow. OASYS is easy to use and adjustable for optimal comfort.
- KlearwayTM Appliance
The KlearwayTM Appliance is ideal for a patient with sleep apnea that also experiences loud snoring. This appliance is used to shift the jaw forward in increments of .25mm at a time. The Klearway appliance is made of a hard-soft plastic that can be adjusted using warm water.
- Herbst Telescopic Appliance
Used in mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea, the Herbst appliance uses clasps and friction grips to stabilize in the mouth. Made of acrylic it can be adjusted vertically and laterally without removing the appliance. The Herbst appliance is effective in reducing loud snoring.
Schedule A Sleep Apnea Consultation
If you believe that you or your partner may have sleep apnea, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Kevin or Dr. Kami Marr. We encourage patients to talk to us about any changes they may notice in their oral or overall health as well as lifestyle habits that may affect them. Dr. Kami and Kevin Marr have the knowledge, experience, and technology to help you get a better nights rest. Contact our Greeley, CO dentist office or schedule a consultation online.