When Snoring Gets Serious
Does your significant other say that you snore heavily, only to stop breathing suddenly throughout the night? Are you often sleepy during the day and never feel truly rested, despite getting a full night’s sleep? These could be signs of sleep apnea, a disorder during which your breathing pauses or becomes very shallow multiple times throughout the night due to obstruction in your airway.Because symptoms are largely present during sleep, many sleep apnea sufferers are entirely unaware of their condition. Leaving sleep apnea untreated can leave you at risk for serious health problems, and even death. Schedule a FREE SLEEP CONSULTATION with Dr. Dassani today to find out if your snoring might be something more serious.
*Offer valid for sleep consultation only.
What is Sleep Apnea
During sleep, the muscles in the mouth, jaw, and throat naturally relax. However, for those who have obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles become so relaxed that they collapse and obstruct the airway, making it difficult to breath and commonly stopping breathing for 10 or more seconds. The decreased flow of oxygen caused by sleep apnea usually results in sudden, repeated awakenings throughout the night – sometimes hundreds of times – and an overall poor quality of sleep.
What are the risks?
Excess weight around the neck can compress the airway, disrupting normal breathing and sleep cycles. Many patients don’t know that they have sleep apnea, and therefore think it is harmless, but the disorder can cause low blood oxygen levels and even a severe form of congestive heart failure. Beyond the snoring and restless nights, the effects of obstructive sleep apnea can pose a number of serious health risks. Sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes, so it is important to recognize symptoms and get treatment before the condition worsens.
Signs & Symptoms
Some of the symptoms are vague and may seem completely unrelated, which is why it important to see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Some signs of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking for air during sleep
- Severe daytime drowsiness or fatigue
- Frequent urination during the night (the body’s attempt to control elevated blood pressure)
- Morning headaches (from blood pressure or jaw clenching)
- Chronic heartburn
- Nightmares or insomnia
Because symptoms are largely present during sleep and often go unnoticed, only a minority of sleep apnea sufferers have been diagnosed. We are working to change that in our community by raising awareness and offering FREE SLEEP CONSULTATIONS and non-invasive treatment methods.
Am I at risk?
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 in 5 adult Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and 9 out 10 cases are undiagnosed. Houston residents who fall into one or more of the following categories are at the highest risk of developing sleep apnea:
- Over the age of 40
- Regularly drink alcohol
Find out how likely you are to doze off at any time during the day, and calculate your risk for sleep apnea by taking the survey below.
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, and/or fall into any of the high risk categories, you should come in and speak with your Houston sleep specialist. A diagnosis and simple, non-invasive treatment could give you back your restful nights, your energized days, and might just save your life.
*Offer valid for sleep consultation only.
Traditional CPAP Treatment
Once diagnosed, sleep apnea sufferers are often prescribed a CPAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It delivers a stream of compressed air through a plastic tube connected to a nasal pillow, nose mask, or full-face mask. The air pressure helps maintain the airway open, making normal breathing possible.
While CPAP is widely considered the “gold standard” for treating sleep apnea, it is estimated that only around 40% of patients actually wear their CPAP masks because they can be:
- Bulky and uncomfortable
- Loud and noisy
- Challenging to sleep in
- Challenging to travel with
Custom Oral Appliance Therapy
Recent advances in technology now make it possible for Dr. Dassani to help treat sleep apnea with a device known as oral appliance therapy (OAT) which helps shift the jaw forward, opening up the airway.
If your sleep apnea is not severe enough to absolutely require CPAP or surgery, we would like to help you get the rest you deserve by creating a custom sleep apnea mouth appliance that will open your airway during sleep and allow you to breath normally. We offer multiple mouth appliance options because we understand that one option might not work best for all patients. Together with you and a sleep physician, we will discuss your options and decide which is likely to be your ticket to a full night’s rest. For the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea, this conservative approach is an appealing alternative to surgery or intrusive CPAP machines.
- Discreet and non-invasive.
- Customized design makes for a comfortable fit.
- Allows you to talk, drink, and close your mouth while sleeping.
- 84% of users report successful treatment with regular wear.
MicrO₂® Sleep and Snore Device
- Allows more tongue space with its lingual-free design.
- One piece construction.
- Minimizes risk of TMJ and other craniofacial complications.
- Made with improved biocompatible materials.
- One of the most comfortable appliances.
- Custom made to fit your mouth.
- Does not impose on your tongue.
- You have the ability to open and close your jaw.
Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP®)
Composed of two separate arches containing a mechanism which permits advancement of the lower jaw.
- Allows more lateral movement than most appliances.
- Especially made for patients who grind their teeth at night.
- The thermoflex material usually requires heating in warm/hot water to soften it enough to place it every night.
- Comes with a Morning Repositioner, used for isometric exercises for 15 minutes in morning to help the bite return to normal.
The OASYS Oral/Nasal Airway System
- First dental device to be reviewed by both the dental and ENT divisions of the FDA and to be approved as a dental device for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.
- Works through mandibular repositioning and also as a nasal dilator for reduction of nasal resistance and improved nasal breathing.
Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA) Appliance
- Helpful with patients that have a larger than normal tongue.
- Uses bands with different lengths and stiffness that are changed to create more forward movement of the mandible.
Small device with tiny connectors attached to transparent flexible upper and lower forms.
Take Control of Sleep Apnea
If you are still wondering whether you may have sleep apnea, Dr. Dassani would love to speak with you. If diagnosed, your Houston dentist can help you take control of your nights, your days, your health, and your life with a simple, non-invasive treatment with oral appliance therapy.
Give us a call at Dassani Dentistry today or schedule your FREE CONSULTATION online to take the first step. We’ve provided the New Patient Forms you will need to fill out below for your convenience.