Sleep Apnea
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Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you achieve a more restful night’s slumber with our innovative sleep apnea treatments. If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or suspect you have the condition, we invite you to reach out for free consultation in our Huntington, Long Island office. Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick can help you lead a healthier, happier life by easing the symptoms of sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.

Check out frequently asked questions about sleep apnea. Request an appointment with our highly skilled sleep apnea dentists today and realize the physical and mental benefits of uninterrupted sleep!

Sleep apnea risk factors

Obstructive sleep apnea negatively impacts health in many ways.  Respected medical professionals say that untreated OSA can take upwards of 10 years off your lifespan, as the disorder increases the risk of developing more severe health problems including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Studies have indicated that people with untreated sleep apnea are statistically more likely to have workplace accidents or accidents while driving because they are so sleep deprived.

Factors that augment the risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Being male – Men are almost three times more likely to have sleep apnea than their female counterparts
  • Smoking – this habit increases airway inflammation and fluid retention
  • Age — Sleep apnea can develop at any age, but is more common in people 45 and older
  • Genetics – A family history of OSA increases your risk
  • Alcohol – relaxes throat muscles, exacerbating sleep apnea
  • Enlarged tonsils – narrow the airway
  • Excess weight – fat deposits in the throat can obstruct breathing passageways
  • Thicker neck – Those with a larger neck circumference have narrowed airways

Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and diagnosis

Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder that causes people to stop breathing repeatedly through their sleep cycles. During these pauses, known as apneas, the soft tissue in the airway partially collapses, preventing oxygen from entering the lungs. Each apnea can last from 30 seconds to more than a minute, and most sufferers experience these lapses dozens of times each night, causing them to startle and wake frequently. These repeated interruptions in the deep, restorative sleep cycles make it impossible to feel rested and refreshed the next day.

Just because you snore occasionally doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea, but regular, extremely noisy snoring accompanied by choking episodes can be a warning sign. These are the most commonly reported symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Waking up gasping
  • Frequent loud snoring
  • Daytime fatigue/lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Chronic morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased libido
  • Waking up with a dry throat

If you know you’re a loud snorer, feel exhausted most mornings and are having trouble with memory or concentration on a regular basis, there is a good chance you may have sleep apnea. After receiving a diagnosis from your primary health care practitioner, an appointment at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can shed light on your treatment options.

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Advances in sleep apnea dentistry

Depending on the causes of your sleep apnea, treatment can involve lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake, dropping weight, or taking prescription medications to treat nasal congestion. When this strategy isn’t viable, your dentist may recommend oral appliance therapy – a mouthguard-like device that pushes the jaw forward to relieve sleep apnea symptoms.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine endorses the use of oral appliance therapy for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Once you have been referred to our practice, our team will perform a thorough assessment to determine candidacy. Once properly vetted for the treatment, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to fabricate a customized mouthpiece, about the same size as a retainer. While the devices may feel a bit awkward at first, most patients acclimate to the mouthpiece within a couple of nights.

Benefits of oral appliance therapy

For best results, we recommend regular monitoring for effectiveness and possible adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. These “snoring mouthpieces” have numerous benefits, especially when compared to treatment with CPAP devices. Oral appliance therapy is affordable, portable, convenient, and comfortable. Best of all, this dental sleep apnea device is often covered by health insurance plans.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks are bulky, uncomfortable and can often lead to dry mouth and a dry throat. Unlike a CPAP, which can disrupt your partner’s sleep and is hard to travel with, an oral appliance makes no sound and is easily stored in a small toiletry bag.

Perhaps even more encouraging is the fact that oral appliance therapy is truly effective in treating troublesome symptoms associated with sleep apnea. One study published in the Journal Sleep found oral appliance therapy “to be an equally effective therapy in reducing the risk of fatal cardiovascular events in patients with severe OSA when compared to CPAP.”

Treatment for sleep apnea in Huntington, Long Island

In our experience, oral appliance therapy can work wonders for chronic snorers who suffer from sleep apnea. If you’ve received an OSA diagnosis and want to discuss your options with a trusted sleep apnea dentist, call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry’s Huntington Station practice to schedule a consultation today!

Additional Resources:

  1. Sleep, Long-Term Effectiveness of Oral Appliance versus CPAP Therapy and the Emerging Importance of Understanding Patient Preferences https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738032/
  2. Mayo Clinic, Sleep Apnea https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631
  3. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Hidden health crisis costing America billions: Underdiagnosing and undertreating obstructive sleep apnea draining healthcare system. https://aasm.org/resources/pdf/sleep-apnea-economic-crisis.pdf
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