Sleep apnea is a common, though serious, sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is consistently interrupted during sleep. Sometimes, those with untreated sleep apnea may stop breathing dozens of times during the night. This means the brain, and the rest of the body, isn’t getting enough oxygen. Left untreated, this can contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. Excessive snoring is also a side effect, which can interrupt REM sleep and lead to drowsiness while awake.
The definition of apnea is a “temporary cessation of breathing”. If you suffer from apnea your breathing can become very shallow, or completely stop, while you are asleep. This can also cause loud snoring, which may disturb your bedpartner and inhibit his or her proper sleep as well.
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common, affecting roughly 12 million Americans, and is caused by a blocked airway when the soft tissue at the back of the throat partially or completely collapses during sleep causing muscles to relax. With central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to tell the muscles to breathe.
Snoring Aids for Sleep Apnea Treatment
A lot of patients have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and rely on snoring aids such as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to get a decent night’s sleep. Some of those who have tried the CPAP machine cannot tolerate it. There are also patients who have issues with their sleep but are unaware.
Grady Dental Care was approached by and has established a relationship with Fusion Sleep, a facility that performs sleep studies on patients to determine their level of apnea and whether they need sleep apnea treatment. Sleep apnea treatment can include surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machines, or oral appliances. For those with mild cases or those who have tried a CPAP machine and cannot tolerate it, Grady Dental Care can custom-fit an oral appliance in our dental office. These snoring aids are the least invasive and often the first choice of patients for sleep apnea treatment.
This oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and is worn in the mouth at night to reposition the jaw forward, preventing the upper airway from collapsing during sleep. This is an effective treatment for OSA and is one of the best snoring aids available.
As an accredited member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Sean Grady is specially trained to provide this service. Established in 1991, the AADSM is the only non-profit society dedicated to the practice of dental sleep medicine. They promote the use of oral appliances as the first line in sleep apnea treatment.
Contact Grady Dental for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dr. Grady is one of a few practitioners in the state of Georgia certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you have tried other snoring aids and feel you could benefit from oral appliance sleep apnea treatment, contact Grady Dental today to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll have you sleeping better in no time!