Dentist in Indianapolis, IN explains what it means to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis
At Washington Street Dentistry, we are committed to improving the health and lives of our patients. While we do this through general, preventative, and cosmetic dentistry services, many patients are surprised to find out that we can also offer diagnosis and treatment of other conditions, such as sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder that affects millions of Americans. Patients with sleep apnea do not get restful sleep, which can impact daytime functionality. An obstruction of the airway causes sleep apnea. The tongue blocks the airway, causing the patient’s blood oxygen level to drop. The brain signals to the body to wake and gasp for a breath. When this happens, the sleep cycle starts over again, causing the patient to never reach the proper level of sleep.
Some of the most common problems associated with sleep apnea include:
- Sore throat
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Chronic headaches
- Lack of productivity
- Poor memory
- Inability to concentrate
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Many patients who see a medical doctor will be told to use a CPAP device. It delivers a continuous flow of air through a mask that is worn during sleep. While the forced air maintains an open airway, it can cause nasal irritation and other discomforts. Many patients find the mask and machine uncomfortable which makes complete compliance low.
At Washington Street Dentistry, we offer an alternative to CPAP, a custom oral appliance. This dental mouthpiece is specifically designed to keep the airway open by properly positioning the jaw during sleep. Many patients find the appliance to be more comfortable than the CPAP mask.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important. If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, contact the team at Washington Street Dentistry in Indianapolis today at (317) 333-6788 to schedule a consultation.