Using Appliance Therapy To Treat Sleep Apnea And Snoring in Anchorage, AK

Are you constantly waking up fatigued? Has your partner complained that your snore excessively? These can all be signs you’re suffering from sleep apnea, a debilitating and potentially life-threatening disorder. Receiving a screening from our dentists at Denali Dental Care can be the first step towards restorative sleep.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, we can recommend a simple appliance to help open your airways while you sleep. Without treatment, apnea impedes your ability to get a full night’s rest, leading to several emotional and physical health problems. Because this condition causes the tissues in your throat to relax and close your airway, your body jolts awake constantly to regain breath. While you may not remember waking, you suffer consequences such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and poor mood. Your difficulty obtaining oxygen causes your heart to work harder, increasing your blood pressure and leading to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that prevents you from breathing when you are asleep. Your brain prevents you from suffocating by waking you up throughout the night, but this interrupts the completion of your sleep cycles. Eventually, this disorder causes serious health problems. Fortunately, you can manage apnea with the right approach to treatment.

Who Is At Risk?

While apnea can affect anyone, it is more common in those who share these characteristics:

  • Being overweight or obese strongly increases your risk
  • It is more common in Black, Hispanic, and Asian populations
  • The risk increases as you age
  • Before age 50, apnea is more common in men

What are the Symptoms?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by several prevalent symptoms which can significantly disrupt a person’s normal sleep patterns. These symptoms include:

  • frequent loud snoring
  • episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
  • abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
  • persistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue

Additional signs may encompass difficulty concentrating during the day, irritability, depression, or mood changes, as well as morning headache and a dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening.

How is it Diagnosed?

Dentists play a crucial role in the early detection of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A comprehensive oral examination can reveal key indicators of OSA, such as a small or recessed jaw, a scalloped tongue, or an enlarged uvula or tonsils. Dr. Morrel and Dr. Maisey may also identify signs of teeth grinding, a common symptom associated with sleep apnea. Furthermore, a dentist may conduct a simple screening questionnaire, such as the STOP-BANG questionnaire, to assess the patient’s risk for OSA. High-risk patients are typically referred to a sleep specialist for further evaluation and diagnosis, which often includes a sleep study known as polysomnography.

Oral Appliance Therapy

We can provide an alternative therapy to CPAP machines in the form of a custom oral appliance that you wear while sleeping. If your apnea derives from interference with the soft tissues of your throat, this device can gently adjust your jaw so that your airways open while asleep, allowing you to breathe. By taking a digital impression of your oral structures, we can create a more comfortable treatment option. Your custom guard gently fits the contours of your mouth, helping you avoid the need for a bulky, noisy CPAP machine.

A patient holding an oral appliance used in sleep apnea treatment in Anchorage, AK

Find Relief Now! Visit Us For Sleep Apnea Treatment in Anchorage, AK!

If you are looking for a non-invasive and effective approach to sleep apnea treatment, pay a visit to Dr. Morrell and Dr. Maisey for your sleep apnea screening. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.