Sleeping with sleep apnea is like sailing a sailboat without a rudder. It can be done, but it’s tough – and ultimately it can even be dangerous. With our sleep apnea treatment in Nashua, you can get a good night’s rest again! We can also treat other sleep disorders like snoring with a simple appliance.Dr. Kiehl on Sleep Apnea Read Transcript
Yeah, sometimes our patients are quite surprised when we start asking them about the quality of their sleep and if things that we may notice from just looking in their mouth. So if we notice those signs and symptoms on someone, we will often discuss that with them. We have a short questionnaire that they'll fill out in the office. Sometimes we'll refer them for a sleep study and again, that's a conversation the patient's like, Why is this dentist talking about sleep stuff? But we find that those symptoms that we see in the teeth oftentimes correlate with sleep apnea which can be very, very dangerous for people if it's undiagnosed.
After we do a sleep study, that's really the first step. Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea, that allows us to get them into the right appliance. For people with mild or moderate sleep apnea, a nighttime appliance is often the best way to treat that. And oftentimes patients don't want to use a CPAP machine or they travel a lot or it's hard to get them to use that, so an appliance is a great way for those patients to treat their sleep apnea.
The appliances we make for sleep apnea, whether it's a simple snoring appliance, all the way up to the sleep apnea appliances, are all custom made for each patient. So we take a couple of impressions, send them out to our lab and they make a really sleek appliance for the patient so it's not like a big football mouth guard that they're used to wearing. It's custom made, as I said, for each patient, fits comfortably around the upper teeth or for the sleep apnea appliance, sometimes on both. And oftentimes patients are concerned about wearing that. What's interesting is after they do wear it for a little while, they're more concerned about not having it with them. We had a patient not long ago who was talking about that; it was on a trip and he was with his family and he said, Look, you either have to get another room or you got to make sure you bring your appliance next time because the snoring was so bad without it. Most of the patients adjust very well to those appliances.
Our treatment will:
- Offer you a comfortable alternative to a CPAP machine
- Enable you to breathe easily all throughout the night
- Allow you, and others in your household, to get an uninterrupted rest
- Help you remain more focused and alert during the day
For more information on our sleep apnea solutions, call Nashua Family Dentistry at 603-546-7460.
Treat Sleep Apnea to Improve Your Overall Health
People with sleep apnea disorder stop breathing often during their sleep, as many as hundreds of times a night. This is serious, as your brain and other parts of your body are deprived of oxygen.
Because you don’t get restful sleep, untreated apnea affects your performance at work or at school. In addition to unwelcome drowsiness and moodiness, studies have linked the condition to more serious health problems, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems, such as irregular heartbeats and even heart attacks
An Oral Appliance Provides a CPAP Alternative
Before Dr. James Kiehl or Dr. Stephen Cohen can treat sleep apnea issues, they will diagnose it. You can have a sleep test conducted at a sleep center. However, such tests can be expensive and require you to be away from the comfort of your home. We can provide you with sleep tests you can take at home to help determine if you have sleep apnea. If necessary, we can work with a sleep specialist for your diagnosis and/or treatment.
The two primary options for treating both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are:
- A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine that works by increasing air pressure in your throat to keep your airway open. Many people find them difficult to wear because they obstruct part of your face and can be noisy.
- An oral appliance, our preferred method of treatment. We’ll take precise measurements of your mouth and jaw and create a custom night guard. It gently shifts your jaw into place to keep your airway open while you sleep. You’ll be able to easily breathe, talk, and relax while wearing it!
Pay Attention to Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Chronic snoring is a common sleep apnea symptom, but it’s also a problem itself. Like sleep apnea disorder, it deprives you and your partner of restful sleep. Sleep disorders fall into three categories, all of which involve obstruction of your airway:
- Simple snoring
- Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS)
- Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS)
The primary difference is the degree of blockage. With apnea, your airway may partially or even completely collapse during the night. This causes you to wake to gasp for breath.
In addition to snoring, other apnea symptoms include:
- A dry or sore throat upon awakening
- Frequent awakening or insomnia
- Waking up with a headache
- Sleepiness during the day
If you experience these symptoms or are just tired of keeping your partner up with your snoring, Call Nashua Family Dentistry at 603-546-7460 for sleep apnea treatment in Nashua. Or use our online form to request an appointment.