Your sleep impacts every facet of your day, your productivity, and your health. It affects how you feel, how you perform, and even how you look. Two of the most common issues that can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep are snoring and sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea.
At Wood Creek Dental, we aim to provide each and every patient with customized, comprehensive services in cosmetic, general, and preventative dentistry and now we’re happy to partner with local, board-certified sleep physicians to provide assistance in treating patients who suffer from chronic snoring and sleep apnea.
If you would like to learn more about the sleep apnea treatment we offer, give us a call at our Greenville office at 864-288-5300 or our Landrum office at 864-457-3425 to schedule your free initial appointment. We happily serve those who live in Greenville, Simpsonville, Landrum, and nearby areas of South Carolina and North Carolina.
Snoring occurs during sleep when soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates as you breathe. Although it is extremely common in men, snoring also occurs frequently in women. It can be disruptive to those around you trying to sleep, but loud snoring can awaken the one snoring, as well. Loud and frequent snoring can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Factors that increase your chances of snoring include:
- Nasal obstruction
- Drinking alcohol
According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep and cause soft tissue to collapse and block the airway.
This results in repeated pauses in breathing, followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep and often reduce your oxygen levels. Left untreated, OSA can raise your risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Erectile dysfunction
Severe untreated OSA can even increase your risk of death. That’s why it’s important to know if you or a loved one could be suffering from undiagnosed OSA and that you get checked by an experienced sleep physician.
Diagnosing and Treating OSA
A sleep physician must determine if your snoring is a sign of OSA. This involves interpreting data from either an overnight sleep study at a sleep center or from a home sleep apnea test.
Based on your individual evaluation, one of the following treatment options may be recommended for you:
- CPAP therapy: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) uses a machine and a mask worn during sleep to increase air pressure in your throat and prevent your airway from collapsing when you breathe.
- Oral appliance therapy: This uses a mouth guard type device that is worn during sleep and supports your jaw in a forward position, helping to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
- Surgery: A variety of procedures may be used with varying side effects and outcomes.
How We Can Help
If you’re unsure whether or not you have OSA, please take a look at the following questions:
- Do you snore?
- Has anyone reported that you choke or gasp while asleep?
- Do you awaken in the morning feeling unrefreshed?
- Are you excessively tired during the day?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
If you were able to answer yes to two or more of the above questions, then you may have undiagnosed OSA. We can refer you to a board-certified sleep physician for a sleep study and proper diagnosis. Or, if you have been previously diagnosed with OSA and have difficulty staying compliant with your CPAP treatment, then oral appliance therapy may be an alternative sleep solution to explore.
If you and your sleep doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, you will then be given a prescription for a custom-made oral device. Working closely with your sleep doctor, our dentists will use impressions and molds of your teeth to fit you with the oral appliance that is best suited for you.
Because many medical (not dental) insurance plans are now covering some to all of the costs of oral appliance therapy, we can also file your medical insurance claims and provide the necessary documentation for your treatment coverage.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
For many people with OSA, using an oral appliance is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into their lifestyle. Patients like it because the oral device is:
- Custom fitted
- Easy to wear
- Convenient for travel
- Easy to care for
Contact Us Today
At Wood Creek Dental, our goal is to provide each patient with comprehensive, personalized dental care for all your oral health needs. We do this by using the latest technology and advanced techniques to give you the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.
Having undiagnosed OSA can be a troublesome condition for you and your loved ones. Not only will it affect your sleep and energy levels, but it can have serious long-term health consequences if it isn’t treated in a timely manner by a professional sleep physician. Our dentists experienced in dental sleep medicine can help determine if you need a referral.
Schedule your appointment online today or call our Wood Creek Dental office in Greenville at 864-288-5300 or 864-457-3425 for our Landrum office. We proudly serve patients throughout Greenville, Landrum, Simpsonville, and the entire upstate South Carolina area.