Sleep apnea is one of the biggest things out there right now. You hear advertisements about don't be that guy. Don't be that guy that snores and keeps your wife up or the hunting trip that nobody wants to sleep with you because you're gonna snore really loud. A lot of times that snoring can actually be a bigger issue. May not just be that you're snoring. You may have sleep apnea. Most people have a hard time tolerating a CPAP machine. There's a lot of CPAP intolerance. Patients try it, they hate the mask, they hate ... It is the gold standard. Obviously, we'd much rather see somebody ... The CPAP machine, if they can wear it and they can tolerate it; awesome. If they can't, dentistry has another option. There's two forms of sleep apnea one's more central nervous. We can't do anything about. It's more the brain and everything related. The other one's obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, something is obstructing the airway. It can be the soft pallet. It can be the tongue. It can be the fact that the neck's bigger and there's more fatty tissue in the neck. We want to find out if it's ... Do you have sleep apnea? Is it mild or moderate or severe? If you can't tolerate a CPAP machine, we have a lot of options. Some mouth appliance moves the jaw forward, opens it a little bit, opens the airway up. It's amazing. One of the cool things that we have in our office, though, is we're able to send you home with a way to test to find out are you grinding your teeth because you're just grinding and you're stressed, or are you grinding your teeth because you have sleep apnea. Because you grind your teeth to open your airway and you're moving your jaw around at night. We're gonna send you home with this, bring it back. We can download it. It goes to a sleep doctor, and they can evaluate it and let us know whether there's enough reading that says you have sleep apnea. Don't have to go sleep in a sleep center. You can sleep in your own bed. Sleep apnea's huge. It's life-altering. Saving lives for us, as a dentist, to be able to make an appliance like that to keep the airway open for those people that can't wear a CPAP machine. Critical. We screen for that all day long and look at medications to make sure that we're taking care of our patients.
Fortunately, award-winning dentist Dr. J. Derek Tieken and our caring team can provide sleep apnea treatment League City, TX dentist office.
If you think you might need sleep apnea treatment, call Tieken Smiles Dentistry at 281-942-6615.
Sleep Apnea Explained
Sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing frequently during their sleep, as many as hundreds of times during the night. This deprives your brain, and the rest of your body, of oxygen. Though many cases go undiagnosed, experts believe as many as 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea has two causes:
- In the most common form of sleep apnea, your airway is blocked when tissue in the back of your throat collapses as you sleep.
- In another form of sleep apnea, your brain doesn’t signal your body to breathe while you are sleeping.
Untreated sleep apnea can affect your performance at work or at school. You may nod off while driving. In addition, studies link sleep apnea to numerous health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems, such as irregular heartbeats and even heart attacks
How We Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea
The first step in treating sleep apnea is diagnosing it. One option is having a sleep test conducted at a sleep center. However, this kind of test can be costly and requires you to be away from the comfort of home.
Dr. Tieken can provide you with equipment you can use at home to help determine if you have sleep apnea. It measures how often you stop breathing throughout the night. He will work closely with a sleep specialist, if necessary.
If you have sleep apnea, Dr. Tieken can create a custom night guard for you that gently shifts your jaw into place to keep your airway open while you sleep. Many people prefer night guards to a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, another commonly prescribed method for treating sleep apnea. CPAP machines obstruct part of your face and can be noisy.
Technology and Night Guard Treatment
Our League City, TX dentist Dr. Tieken uses some of the latest dental technology to create your custom night guard, including:
- Digital X-rays, which provide clear images of your mouth without waiting for film to develop. In addition, we can easily share images with third parties such as other health care providers or insurance companies.
- Intraoral scanner, which we use to take impressions of your teeth without messy molding materials.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Symptoms include:
- Waking with a dry or sore throat
- Loud, persistent snoring
- Frequent awakening or insomnia
- Waking with a headache
- Mood changes
- Sleepiness during the day