Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs while sleeping and is characterized by loud snoring or waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air. This is due to your breathing repeatedly stopping and starting. Sleep apnea can develop for three different reasons. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax too much while sleeping; central sleep apnea, occurs due to the brain not sending the necessary signals to the muscles that are responsible for controlling breathing, and complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is caused by both issues.
If you are concerned that you have sleep apnea, contact our office as soon as possible. As a native of Greenville and fourth generation dentist, Dr. Preston Hamrick is proud to serve this community by developing personal relationships with all his patients and working hard to understand your needs and goals. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea, or to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, call us today at 864.292.5125.
SMILE WITH CONFIDENCE. CALL TODAY.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common indication of sleep apnea is extremely loud snoring while sleeping. Additional symptoms include:
- Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty staying awake
- Brain fog
- Irritability or depression
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty paying attention while awake
Although sleep apnea is commonly written off as an issue that is simply an inconvenience, this could not be further from the truth. If left untreated, sleep apnea increases your risk of developing more serious issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, liver problems, and metabolic syndrome to name a few. To prevent these issues from developing, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and type of sleep apnea you have and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Although everyone is at some risk of developing sleep apnea, the following criteria can significantly increase your risk:
- Weight: Because fat deposits around your upper airway can obstruct your breathing, individuals who are overweight are at increased risk of having sleep apnea.
- Gender: Men are 2-3 times more likely than women to have sleep apnea. The risk among women who are past menopause or overweight is increased.
- Age: Older adults are much more likely to develop sleep apnea.
- Family history: If other members of your family have sleep apnea, there is a greater likelihood that you will also develop it.
- Physical characteristics: People who have a narrow throat or thicker necks are more likely to develop sleep apnea.
- Nasal congestion: Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common among individuals who have allergies or anatomical issues that cause nasal congestion.
- Lifestyle habits: People whouse alcohol, smoke, or take tranquilizers or sedatives increase their risk of developing sleep apnea. Smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway, and alcohol, tranquilizers and sedatives cause the muscles in your throat to relax.
Although no one wants to have sleep apnea, it is important to know that there are several options available that can be effective at correcting or improving the symptoms.
- Shift in Lifestyle Habits:Changing daily habits and patterns can be a difficult thing to do, but if your sleep apnea is due to underlying, preventable issues like being overweight due to a sedentary lifestyle or unhealthy diet, use or abuse of alcohol, tranquilizers, or sedatives, or smoking, taking steps to limit or eliminate these daily habits may be all it takes to correct, or at least lessen your sleep apnea. Although there is no guarantee that taking these steps will correct the underlying issue, doing so will absolutely improve your overall mental and physical health.
- Oral Appliances: Oral appliances that are worn while sleeping are an increasingly popular treatment option for sleep apnea. While sleeping, the oral appliance helps maintain an open airway by supporting your jaw in a forward position. To achieve maximum results, it is strongly recommended that you have your oral appliance custom made by your dentist.
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine) Machine: A CPAP machine is one of the most common treatment methods for correcting sleep apnea. The CPAP machine helps ensure that you have more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale. While this can effectively treat sleep apnea, wearing the mask while sleeping can be uncomfortable.
- Surgery:If all other treatment options for sleep apnea have been exhausted, there are surgical procedures that can be performed, such as jaw repositioning, nerve stimulation, tissue removal, tissue shrinking, or creating a new air passageway in severe cases.
Cost of Treating Sleep Apnea
The cost of treating sleep apnea will depend on the type of treatment that is pursued.
For patients with dental insurance, the total cost will depend on whether the procedure is covered under your plan, and if so, how much is covered. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan does cover the treatment and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
The Care You Need When You Need It
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will ensure your sustained oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To take the first step to correcting your sleep apnea, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125.