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Using Advanced Technology To Address Poor Sleep Health

Obstructive sleep apnea puts your mental and physical health at risk. We provide consultations and sophisticated treatment solutions that eliminate the need for a CPAP machine!

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, occur when the muscles in the throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. Here are the key aspects of OSA:

  1. Airway Obstruction: During sleep, the muscles of the throat can relax excessively, causing the airway to collapse or become blocked. This obstruction prevents normal airflow.
  2. Breathing Pauses: These obstructions result in pauses in breathing, which can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 times or more per hour.
  3. Snoring: OSA is commonly associated with loud snoring, although not everyone who snores has this condition.
  4. Sleep Disturbances: The breathing pauses are often followed by brief awakenings or gasps, disrupting sleep.
  5. Oxygen Levels: These interruptions can reduce the level of oxygen in the blood, leading to potentially serious health consequences.
  6. Daytime Symptoms: People with OSA often experience daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating due to the disrupted sleep.
  7. Risk Factors: Factors increasing the risk of OSA include obesity, a narrow airway, a thick neck, smoking, alcohol use, sedatives, and family history.
  8. Health Risks: Untreated OSA can lead to a range of health problems, including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.

Is Snoring The Only Sign Of Sleep Apnea? 

We snore when our airways are partially blocked. This is a common symptom of sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has this problem. Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic daytime fatigue
  • Negative changes in your mood
  • Loss of focus
  • Drowsiness
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Difficulty managing other mental and physical health conditions 

Can I Deal With Sleep Apnea Without Treatment? 

Immediate sleep apnea relief calls for treatment. With that said, there are lifestyle changes to prevent this problem and decrease your future risk:

  • If you are overweight or obese, reducing your weight can lead to better nighttime breathing
  • Use a humidifier to prevent airway irritation from dry air
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking, as alcohol leads to muscle relaxation that results in airway restrictions, while smoking can irritate and inflame the airway  

Are There Alternatives To Treatment With A CPAP Machine?

Our office has effective modern non-CPAP solutions for  sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing, including:

Sleep Apnea Treatment With A Custom Mouth Guard

Dentists play a crucial role in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) through the use of oral appliances, often referred to as mouth guards. These devices stop airway interference by correcting your lower jaw’s position while you sleep. We use digital technology to capture measurements of your jaw and oral structures so that you receive the ideal guard for your mouth without the need for any goopy impressions!

A mouth guard used in sleep apnea treatment in Copperas Cove, TX

Here’s how Dr. Grantham uses them for treating OSA:

  1. Custom Fitting: Our Copperas Cove dentist custom-fits these oral appliances to the patient’s mouth. This involves taking impressions of the teeth and making a mouth guard that comfortably fits over the upper and lower teeth.
  2. Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs): The most common type of oral appliance for OSA is the mandibular advancement device. This device works by slightly moving the lower jaw (mandible) forward and downward, which helps keep the airway open.
  3. Tongue Retaining Devices: Another type of oral appliance is the tongue retaining device, which holds the tongue in a forward position, preventing it from blocking the airway.
  4. Reducing Airway Collapse: By positioning the jaw and/or tongue, these devices help maintain an open, unobstructed airway, reducing the likelihood of apneas.
  5. Monitoring and Adjustments: Dr. Grantham monitors the effectiveness of the appliance and makes adjustments as needed. This ensures both comfort and effectiveness in reducing apnea episodes.
  6. Collaboration with Sleep Specialists: We often work in collaboration with sleep specialists to diagnose and treat OSA. While a sleep specialist diagnoses the condition, a dentist like Dr. Grantham can play a crucial role in the non-surgical treatment.
  7. Suitability Assessment: Not all patients with OSA are suitable candidates for oral appliances. Dentists assess factors like the severity of OSA, dental health, jaw structure, and patient preferences.
  8. Follow-Up Care: Regular follow-up visits are important to assess the fit of the appliance, the health of the oral tissues, and the effectiveness of the treatment.
  9. Education and Support: Dr. Grantham also educates patients on the use, care, and importance of their oral appliance, as well as lifestyle modifications that can help with OSA.

It’s important to note that while oral appliances are effective for mild to moderate OSA, they may not be suitable for severe cases. Ongoing research and advancements in dental sleep medicine continue to improve the options and effectiveness of these treatments.

Solea® Sleep Laser Therapy 

Solea® Sleep Laser Therapy is a comfortable, non-surgical treatment for snoring and sleep apnea in Copperas Cove. Dr. Grantham uses a special low-energy laser to tighten and stiffen the soft palate and stop airway interference. The procedure takes just minutes, and your results can last for a year or more!

There are many benefits to trusting laser technology to treat snoring and sleep apnea, including:

  • It is a quick, one-visit solution that lasts for a year or more
  • No anesthetic or surgical care is required
  • There is no downtime needed and minimal discomfort during treatment
  • You remain free from snoring and sleep apnea symptoms without the need for a special appliance!