Sleep apnea can put you at an elevated risk of many illnesses and health conditions, but most adults don’t realize they suffer from this form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) estimates that more than 180 million people have mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and up to 75 percent of those with severe SDB continue to be undiagnosed. If you snore loudly, have difficulty sleeping at night or staying awake throughout the day, then you may have sleep apnea.
Our Salt Lake City dentist, Dr. Keith Warr, can give you treatment options for your sleep apnea diagnosis. Call our office today at (801) 216-3713 to schedule your exam and learn more about sleep apnea. Warr Dental provides sleep apnea treatments, general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry to patients in Salt Lake City, Midvale and West Jordan, Utah.
What is Sleep Apnea?
This medical condition causes the back of your throat to collapse either partially or completely while you sleep. This blocks your airway and deprives your lungs of air. You may stop breathing for up to 30 seconds in your sleep, and your partner most likely notices due to the extreme snoring associated with sleep apnea. During this lapse in air, your brain tells your body that you are in danger of suffocation and signals for you to wake up. You may wake up gasping, choking, grinding your teeth or simply roll over.
There are several forms of sleep apnea including:
- Mild OSA — 1 in 5 adults has mild sleep apnea, which means they experience obstructed breathing 5 to 15 times per hour.
- Moderate OSA — Those who suffer from moderate sleep apnea have anywhere from 15 to 30 episodes each hour.
- Severe OSA — 1 in 15 Americans has either moderate or severe sleep apnea. Those with severe OSA have more than 30 episodes an hour.
During an episode, your blood pressure rises and your pulse quickens. Some people experience hundreds of episodes per night, which can cause damage to your health and quality of life.
Sleep apnea is thought to be the gateway to life-threatening illnesses and medical conditions including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure
In some cases, although it is rare, sleep apnea can trigger respiratory failure causing sudden death during sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
You may not realize you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea because many of them can seem mild. It’s important to talk to Dr. Warr about all aspects of your life to determine any minor and major indicators of sleep apnea such as:
- Chronic headaches
- Morning headaches
- Increased urination at night
- Nocturnal gasping, coughing or choking
- Irregular breathing while sleeping
- Large neck
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Our dentist is a trained practitioner of dental sleep medicine and treatments through the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Warr works closely with sleep specialists in Salt Lake City in order to customize your treatment plan and ensure you’re receiving the best care possible.
Some of your treatment options involve:
- A custom orthotic appliance.
- MicrO2 Sleep & Snore Device
- A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device.
- Surgical intervention to reduce airway obstruction.
One of the most effective treatments Warr Dental offers is the custom orthotic. This appliance is worn similarly to a retainer and designed to keep your airway open during sleep thus allowing normal, easy breathing. Up to 91 percent of our patients who use the custom orthotic show remarkable improvement in their quality and quantity of sleep, one of which is Bernadette L. June:
“I love my appliance! It is more effective (and much more attractive) than the CPAP machine I was previously using to treat my sleep apnea. I am sleeping through the night and no longer dragging through my days,” said June in 2015. “Thanks, Dr. Warr.”
The CPAP machine is the most common treatment used across the country, but patients often complain about the uncomfortable device and report difficulty wearing it. Some avoid using the machine at all even though their sleep apnea persists. Surgery is invasive and recovery time is lengthy, but this option could be a permanent solution.
MicrO2® Sleep and Snore Device
The MicrO2 Sleep and Snore Device is a custom-made mandibular repositioning device (MRD) that addresses patient compliance problems with other OSA treatments such as the CPAP machine and other MRDs. The upper and lower devices of the MicrO2 are designed precisely to fit your mouth and teeth and are made of a durable material (dental grade poly methyl methacrylate—PMMA) that isn’t susceptible to stains, smells or buildup. The strength of the PMMA allows the device to be made considerably smaller than other MRDs, which gives more comfort and allows for optimal opening of the vertical bite and more room for your tongue.
The MicrO2 is a revolutionary product that can help many men and women struggling with snoring and OSA find relief with an easy-to-use product that doesn’t require any adjustments. It involves a series of devices to allow the user the freedom to switch out each upper and lower device for the next in the series. Each device in the series moves the lower jaw into the desired position for ideal breathing during sleep.
If you’re concerned you or your partner might be suffering from sleep apnea or have been diagnosed, please call Warr Dental in Salt Lake City today at (801) 216-3713 to schedule your consultation. Dr. Warr serves patients in Salt Lake City and surrounding Utah areas.