Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment in De Pere, WIAlmost everybody snores a little, but overly loud or constant snoring may cause or point to bigger problems. If you frequently snore and find that waking up you don’t feel well rested, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. But even if your snoring doesn’t point to sleep apnea, it may be depriving your loved ones of sleep and potentially harming your relationships.
To make sure you and your loved ones get the sleep they need, sleep apnea dentist Dr. Chad Yenchesky of Fox View Dental offers snoring and sleep apnea treatment. Keep reading to learn more about both conditions and how your De Pere sleep apnea dentist can help.
What Are Snoring and Sleep Apnea?
Snoring occurs when the tongue or other soft oral tissues near the back of the throat loosen, causing the airway to narrow and forcing air through the smaller opening. This causes the tissues to flutter, creating sound vibrations in the throat that we call snoring. When the snoring is so loud that it can be heard through walls, it’s referred to as heroic snoring. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about half of the global population snores at some point in their lives.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder characterized by intermittent recurring pauses in your breathing during sleep. The lack of oxygen partially wakes you, but most people don’t remember waking up at all during an apneic episode. This can make diagnosing sleep apnea especially difficult.
There are three forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form. It occurs when the soft tissues near the back of your throat, such as your tongue and the walls of your throat, collapse entirely. This collapse of soft tissues blocks your airways so you can’t breathe.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the body to breathe during sleep. You stop breathing properly even though there may be no obstruction.
- Complex (or mixed) sleep apnea (MSA) is when both obstructive and central sleep apnea occur at once. This is the rarest form of sleep apnea.
Causes and Signs of Sleep Apnea
Common causes of sleep apnea include:
- Being overweight
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Enlarged Tonsils
- Sleeping on your back
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking up gasping for breath
- Snorting in your sleep
- Sore throat and dry mouth in the morning
- Headaches upon waking
- Difficulty concentrating
Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea
Unlike snoring alone, sleep apnea is considered dangerous because of the risks it poses to your overall health and well-being. Additionally, certain health consequences of sleep apnea can exacerbate the condition, which can lead to a cycle of worsening sleep apnea and spiraling health. Some possible mental and physical health consequences of sleep apnea include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Acid reflux
- Complications with medication and surgery
- Memory loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Decreased cognitive ability
Other Consequences of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Nighttime disruptions like loud snoring and disruptions caused by sleep apnea such as loud noises, tossing and turning, and waking up gasping, can deprive your bed partners of the sleep they need. If your partner is sleep deprived, it can put a strain on the relationship and separation becomes more likely.
Additionally, if your sleep disturbances are especially loud, sleep deprivation may extend to other members of your household. This can mean even further tension in your home and your closest relationships as more people struggle to get the quality sleep they need.
Decreased Work Performance & Increased Accidents
The decreased cognitive function people with sleep apnea may experience often decreases their work performance and increases the chances of accidents. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea inadvertently cause thousands of traffic fatalities every year. You’re also much more likely to cause accidents in other places you commonly frequent, such as at work and home.
How Dr. Yenchesky Can Help
If you think you’re suffering from loud or chronic snoring or sleep apnea, Dr. Yenchesky will thoroughly examine your mouth and throat. He’ll also ask you questions about your health, your mood, and your sleep patterns. If necessary, our sleep dentist will have you talk to your primary care provider, who can recommend you to a sleep specialist.
A sleep specialist will have you undergo a sleep study, which can be done at a sleep center or from the comfort of your own home. A sleep study involves the monitoring of your vitals while you sleep, using electrodes attached to special equipment. These electrodes are attached to your skull and collect data your sleep specialist will analyze so they can provide an accurate diagnosis. Depending on your case, your De Pere dentist will prescribe a snoring and sleep apnea treatment.
Our Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatments
A common first-line therapy for sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). CPAP therapy requires you to wear a mask while you sleep, which is hooked up to a machine that blows pressurized air into your airways.
The pressurized air keeps your airways open, preventing the loosening and collapse of your oral tissues, making breathing easier, and allowing you to sleep peacefully. While CPAP is highly effective, approximately half of all patients are unable to remain compliant.
Some common problems people run into with CPAP therapy include the following:
- The noise can disrupt the patient's sleep and their partner’s sleep
- The size of CPAP equipment can make it a hassle to manage or carry while traveling
- CPAP requires either an outlet or an expensive battery
- The discomfort of the mask often prompts patients to remove it in their sleep
- Treatment with CPAP can be costly/not covered by insurance
For reasons such as these, you might prefer treatment with an oral appliance.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy involves using a custom-made mouthguard that you wear while you sleep. The appliance gently repositions your jaw to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing. Oral appliance therapy comes with many benefits that make it the preferred method over CPAP therapy, including:
- Compact design
What To Expect From Oral Appliance Therapy
If Dr. Yenchesky approves you for oral appliance therapy, you can expect three visits to our De Pere dental office. During your first appointment, Dr. Yenchesky and our dental team will take at least one hour to make recommendations and take dental records. These records can include; x-rays, impressions of your teeth, photographs, and other digital imaging using advanced dental technology.
During your second appointment, Dr. Yenchesky will take at least 20-30 minutes to fit you with your oral appliance. Your De Pere dentist will give you instructions on how to use and care for your appliance. During your final appointment, he’ll review your progress. He may need to take additional dental records to monitor your therapy’s success.
Get The Sleep You Need With Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
The best way to get symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea under control is to seek out an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment as soon as possible. Once he understands your case, Dr. Yenchesky of Fox View Dental can provide effective treatment options. That way, you and your loved ones can get the sleep they need to live a long, healthy, and happy life.
Fox View Dental offers sleep solutions for snoring and sleep apnea in De Pere and surrounding areas such as Allouez, Ashwaubenon, and Howard, WI. To learn more about your treatment options for sleep apnea and snoring, contact Fox View Dental by dialing (920) 336-4201. You can also fill out our contact form and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.