Sleep Disorder & Insomnia Treatment in Weston Florida
Many of our Weston dental practice patients that have sleep apnea originally believed that their sleepless nights and daytime fatigue was the result of insomnia and sought treatment for that condition. While insomnia is a common sleep disorder with multiple causes, sleepless nights accompanied with loud and consistent snoring may indicate a different, potentially life-threatening condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Sleep apnea is caused by a full or partial collapse of the airway. When this occurs oxygen is cut off from the brain and can potentially cause a stroke, heart attack, the early onset of Alzheimer’s and other serious conditions. The loud snoring that is symptomatic of sleep apnea is an involuntary response to clear the airway and get oxygen flowing again.
The snoring, fatigue, lack of focus and decrease in the quality of life cannot be ignored as just one of life’s inconveniences. It is a serious health issue and requires therapy.
Our Weston Dental Practice Can Assist in the Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
A dentist cannot diagnose sleep apnea but they can screen for it and refer the patient to s sleep disorder specialist. Through our partnership with Chase Dental SleepCare, our Weston dental office facilitates sleep testing as well as partners with a patient’s current physician to help determine the most appropriate therapy for the individual.
For many years the treatment of sleep apnea involved forcing air into the airway while the patient slept. This involved the patient wearing a mask with a hose connected to an electric pump. The therapy is known as continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. Obviously wearing a mask to bed each night is intrusive and fewer than 25% of patients continue it for more than 30 days.
Today however, there is a custom dental appliance available that successfully prevents the collapse of the tongue and soft tissue in the back of the throat. They are small appliances similar to a sports guard that are worn at night that slightly reposition the jaw allowing the airway to remain open. They are comfortable, allow normal speech and even allow the patient to sip water without removing them.
Compared to the CPAP system, it’s not surprising that over 90% of patients who try these devices are still using them after a year.
These oral appliances are custom made and require special training on the part of the dentist. Dr. Pyle has extensive experience with this therapy and is certified by The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, or if you are currently using CPAP therapy, call our Weston dental practice today to arrange an evaluation exam and see if the oral appliance is appropriate for you.