Do you feel groggy during the day and have trouble concentrating? Good quality sleep is vital to your heart health. Call our office for an appointment to talk to our dentist about treatment for sleep apnea in Northern New Jersey.

What Do I Need to Know About Sleep Apnea in Northern New Jersey?

With OSA, your airway muscles relax too much while you are sleeping, cutting off your oxygen supply. This can happen five or more times every hour. When your body realizes you are not breathing, it wakes you up. You may gasp for air and go right back to sleep. People with OSA don’t realize how often they wake, nor do they realize they snore loudly, unless someone tells them about it.

Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem which puts your cardiovascular health at risk. When your breathing stops, your blood gets less oxygen. It cannot send as much oxygen to the rest of your body, including your brain. People with OSA also get very drowsy during the day. This can lead to automobile or workplace accidents.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

You may notice these symptoms:

  • Breathing pauses when sleeping
  • Loud snoring nearly every night
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Mood swings
  • Falling asleep involuntarily during the day

What Are Common Sleep Apnea Causes?

Causes of OSA include:

  • Excess weight
  • A large neck size (17 inches or more for men and 16 inches or more for women)
  • Family with OSA
  • Smoking
  • Large tonsils
  • Sedative use
  • Nasal congestion
  • OSA also disproportionately affects individuals over age 40.

How Do Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

Dentists can help patients avoid serious health complications by being familiar with the signs of OSA. Our dentists can create custom oral appliances for you, also called mandibular advancement devices. If your dentist believes you may have OSA, he or she will refer you to a medical doctor who will perform a sleep test. If you’re diagnosed with OSA, the doctor can write a prescription for an oral appliance which our dentist will fill. Your dentist will also suggest lifestyle changes, including losing weight, quitting smoking, and sleeping on your side, not your back. It is easier to lose weight once you use an oral appliance. You’ll feel more energetic.

There are also different types of surgeries which doctors only suggest when no other treatment is working. Surgery is a last resort since anesthesia can be risky if the patient has OSA.

Dental Appliance

How Does an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Work?

Dentists use oral appliances to increase the size of your airway. A sleep apnea mouth guard works by moving your jaw forward slightly. You wear the appliance each night to help you breathe easier. Weight loss, if the patient is overweight, will also reduce OSA symptoms so dentists often suggest it as well as oral appliance therapy. It’s easier to lose weight once you have more energy during the day. Even a small weight loss of 30 pounds can reduce or eliminate your need for OAT. Please contact our office for an appointment with our dentist. You shouldn’t treat yourself without guidance as OSA is a serious medical condition.

What Will an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea in Northern New Jersey Cost?

Our dentist can give you an estimate of your cost after determining which oral appliance is right for you. If you have medical insurance coverage for oral appliance therapy, this will likely reduce your total costs. Call our office to request an appointment to learn more about the cost of OAT.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment Compare to Other Options?

CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) therapy is a popular OSA treatment; however, many patients find a sleep apnea mouthpiece more convenient and more comfortable. They find using a patient-friendly mouthpiece more acceptable than wearing a mask. The machines can also be very noisy. When individuals find using their CPAP machine uncomfortable, they don’t use it as often as they should, putting a strain on their cardiovascular system.

Frequent travelers will find a mouthpiece fits in their pocket easily, while a CPAP machine with hoses and a mask is more difficult to take along. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of oral appliance therapy, please call our office.

Can I Use My Medical Insurance at a Dental Office for OAT?

Yes, medical insurance frequently covers oral appliance therapy. Refer to your health insurance plan for details or contact your plan administrator to determine your coverage. Call today or book an appointment online.

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