Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that carries grave consequences if not properly treated. We work with patients to confirm whether their snoring is related to obstructive sleep apnea and, if so, to formulate comfortable, effective treatment to improve quality of life.
Snoring or sleep apnea?
When a person snores, air is having a difficult time moving through the airway. The obstacle may be in the nasal passage, such as a deviated septum, or it may be in the throat. The sounds described as snoring are vibrations made when air moves past soft tissues. Snoring sounds let you know that air is indeed moving.
Obstructive sleep apnea sounds a lot like snoring. In addition to loud snoring, however, there are also moments of silence. The brief silence may be followed by gasping or choking before snoring resumes. When the sounds of snoring cease, it is because air has stopped moving. During this time, which may last 10 seconds or more, the brain receives no oxygen. With a jolt of adrenaline, the brain prompts breathing.
There are signs of sleep problems during the day as well as at night. People with obstructive sleep apnea may describe their sleep as restless. They may wake to use the bathroom frequently at night, and may often wake up with a sore throat or headache. Daytime sleepiness is a common indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, as are mood swings.
Getting help for obstructive sleep apnea
Many people are prescribed CPAP therapy for this condition. This model of treatment is to force the airway open with compressed air delivered through a mask. Patients may find this both physically and emotionally uncomfortable and may not tolerate treatment well. At Maine Center for Dental Medicine, we are happy to provide an alternative to the standard medical therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.
The first step in obtaining oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea is to confirm your diagnosis. We provide a comfortable home-test that will give us insight into your sleep patterns. The data collected while you sleep is downloaded into our state-of-the-art software program, where it is processed. The diagnosis of sleep apnea is done by a certified physician after this.
We use Respire sleep devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea. A customized appliance worn during sleep places the upper and lower jaw into a harmonious position, which keeps the airway from collapsing while you sleep.
Restore optimal sleep and your sense of wellbeing. Visit Maine Center for Dental Medicine to learn more about treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.