Sleep Apnea Appliances
Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea – a chronic disorder that occurs when a person ceases to breathe at various intervals throughout the night. Once this happens, your brain wakes up your body just enough to force you to take a breath again, but not enough to make you consciously awake. This process can occur hundreds of times a night, causing your body’s oxygen levels to drop to dangerous levels – all without you even realizing what is happening.
Loud, chronic snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, along with choking and gasping in your sleep. If your bed partner has noticed these signs, you should see a sleep apnea specialist as soon as possible for an official diagnosis. Many times, your bed partner will suffer from all of the associated symptoms of sleep deprivation because of your loud snoring and restless sleep, preventing them from sleeping well. Dr. Tigran offers in his practice an overnight, at-home sleep apnea monitor to screen patients for sleep apnea.
Day Time Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The combination of sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation can lead to several daytime symptoms, including:
Left untreated, sleep apnea can put you at risk for many serious health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, and stroke….and eventually death. Sleep apnea is responsible for the death of roughly 30,000 Americans every year.
Treating Sleep Apnea
One of the most common sleep apnea treatment methods is called CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This machine forces air into your lungs through a mask that you wear over your face or nose at night. While these machines are very effective at treating sleep apnea, the cumbersome mask often makes it difficult to sleep at all, defeating the purpose of the device.
For patients who have difficulty with CPAP, Dr. Tigran offers an adjunct to CPAP or an alternative treatment method: oral sleep appliances. If that line of therapy is to be pursued, the patient should be evaluated by a dentist trained in the treatment of sleep related breathing disorders. b. An ENT consultation which may be useful to look for specific causes of obstruction and possible treatment options. c. Myofunction therapy to strengthen the coordination of the tongue and facial muscles. d. Orthodontic treatment to develop the dental arches and/or reverse previous retractive orthodontic treatment. 2. Weight loss may be of benefit in reducing the severity of respiratory events and snoring , if clinically indicated.
Option of Sleep appliances
These custom-made devices fit snugly over your teeth, keeping your airway open and unobstructed at night so you can breathe freely. The vast majority of our patients have success with these appliances, finding them far more comfortable and unobtrusive than the CPAP mask.
We work closely with a local sleep lab to ensure proper customization of your sleep apnea treatment. The specific FDA approved oral sleep appliances we offer are:
The type of oral appliance that is best for you will depend on your particular needs and the type of sleep apnea you have. Dr. Tigran will monitor the effectiveness of your sleep apnea treatment with a Level 3 take-home sleep monitor. We will also work with experienced sleep doctors to modify and adjust your treatment as needed.
If you suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea and are interested in oral sleep appliance therapy, please, contact us today to discuss your treatment options. We serve patients in the greater Washington area.