At Dr. Fieldhouse & Dr. Peterson’s in La Grange Park, IL, we receive many referrals to fit patients with dental appliances to help them with their sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects thousands of people. The problem is that many people live with it and never know they have it.
People don’t usually remember waking up frequently at night due to sleep apnea. Those who sleep alone won’t know that they snore during their sleep either. Early treatment of sleep apnea before it has a greater negative impact on a person’s life and before complications develop is highly recommended.
Many people present by saying that their partner notices them snoring loudly at night. At Dr. Fieldhouse & Dr. Peterson’s, this is a complaint we hear frequently. When the airway is blocked, the air has a harder time moving in and out, leading to snoring.
Excessive daytime fatigue is another major issue. People go see their doctors all the time because they constantly feel tired only to find out that they have sleep apnea. If you’re not getting enough sleep and keep stop breathing at night, it’s natural that you’ll feel tired the next morning.
We have several ways of treating sleep apnea. CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is well-known and the most effective. It works by pushing air using positive pressure, thereby keeping the airway open.
The main issues with CPAP are that it’s hard to sleep with, makes the mouth and nose dry, and causes nosebleeds. People with mild to moderate sleep apnea might not need CPAP at all, and dental appliances might suffice.
Sleep apnea dental appliances work by preventing the tongue and jaw from falling backward and obstructing the airway. By keeping the airway open, the problem is solved. These appliances need to be done with precision as a poorly fitting appliance can worsen the obstruction rather than relieve it.
If a reversible cause of sleep apnea is detected, it can be dealt with. Examples of reversible causes are enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
Think you might have sleep apnea? We recommend you visit a doctor as soon as possible, so treatment can begin.