Like other sleep disorders, untreated and undiagnosed sleep apnea can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life. When diagnosed with sleep apnea, patients should explore their treatment options to reclaim their health and overall well being. Sleep apnea occurs when a patient ceases breathing throughout the night because oral tissues obstruct air passageways. This disorder results in a vicious cycle of breathing cessation and slight wakefulness throughout the night, preventing a patient from experience deep sleep. Fortunately, our dentist, Dr. Morris offers simple, effective, and comfortable sleep apnea treatment. In addition to vast experience in general and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Morris has additional training and education to treat sleep apnea. He completed an advanced residency in temporomandibular and sleep disorders at the TMJ and Sleep Center of San Diego.
What are some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms?
Patients with sleep apnea generally feel fatigue and malaise—even after receiving a full night of sleep. When this condition goes untreated, patients’ sleep apnea symptoms can worsen. For example, many patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience issues with mood such as irritability and depression. Because patients are sleep deprived, they will also develop cognitive and motor impairment including memory loss. Some patients wake with headaches in the morning along with dry mouth, too.
What treatment options are available for OSA?
In the past, many physicians and dentists recommended the use of a CPAP machine. This machine emits a stream of air into the mouth through a facial mask to prevent airway obstruction during sleep. While the CPAP machine was the most common method of sleep apnea treatment in the past, there are newer, more comfortable alternatives.
Dr. Morris treats sleep apnea with custom made, discreet oral appliances. Worn at night, these appliances resemble a clear mouth guard. By slightly positioning the lower jaw forward, these oral appliances prevent soft oral tissues from obstructing airways so that patients can breathe properly during sleep. Many patients favor this method of treatment because it is more comfortable to sleep with than the CPAP and does not produce any noise to wake the patient during the night.