We are open - safety is our top priority!
Sleep apnea in East Brunswick is a common, chronic condition. Most of the individuals suffering from this condition went undiagnosed for a long time since it occurs while you sleep. People rarely realize they are suffering from sleep deprivation. If you have unexplained tiredness during the day or your partner says you make gasping and choking noises while you sleep, please call our office for an appointment.
Is Sleep Apnea a Sleep Disorder?
Yes, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the sleep disorder. Mild OSA affects one in five individuals and severe OSA affects one in 15 adults. OSA occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, which support the tonsils, tongue, soft palate and more. Your airway is physically blocked, so you can’t breathe. You will wake up for a second to breathe after being deprived of oxygen, although you probably won’t remember not being able to breathe. You can wake up five to 30 times every hour, preventing you from getting a deep, restful sleep. Therefore, people with OSA feel fatigued all day even after a full night’s sleep.
What Sleep Apnea Symptoms Should I Watch Out For?
You should see a dentist to get evaluated for OSA if you:
- Snore loudly almost every night
- Make choking or gasping sounds during the night
- Unexplained daytime sleepiness
- Frequently waking up with a sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Inability to concentrate
What Causes OSA?
Common sleep apnea causes include:
- Being overweight, although people who are not overweight also can get OSA
- Having a large neck size, over 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women
- Being over age 40
- Sedative use
- Being a smoker
- Nasal congestion
- Men are at higher risk for OSA; however, current research shows OSA is often underdiagnosed in women.
What’s the Recommended Treatment for Sleep Apnea in East Brunswick
Our dentist will refer patients with signs of OSA to a medical doctor for a diagnosis and sleep study. Doctors measure the number of instances where your breathing stops per hour and the level of oxygen to determine the severity of your OSA. Where individuals are overweight or obese, losing weight can treat mild OSA. An oral appliance for sleep apnea may also help while someone is dieting, as getting a good night’s sleep gives a person energy to move more. It can also help eliminate cravings for sweets, making it easier to stick to a weight loss program.
Oral appliances are an alternative offered by dentists to using a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine provides a continuous flow of air through a mask worn over your nose or mouth and nose. Some patients find they don’t like wearing a mask so they don’t use the machine every night. A sleep apnea mouth guard, which resembles a sports mouth guard, is easier to tolerate, so it increases compliance.
How Do Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea Work?
Our dentist can provide a custom made oral appliance for sleep apnea in East Brunswick. The appliance prevents the throat muscles from collapsing into the upper airway. It fits over your upper and lower jaw and a hinge makes it easy for our dentist to adjust it as needed for maximum effectiveness. Our dentist will also suggest lifestyle changes, including weight loss, sleeping on your side instead of your back, and avoiding alcohol before bedtime.
What Do Oral Appliances Cost?
Your dentist will make an evaluation to determine which type of oral appliance is best for you. Your cost will depend on the appliance and whether you have health insurance coverage for oral appliance therapy. If you contact our office for a consultation, our dentist can give you more information about your expected cost.
When Is Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment (OAT) Recommended?
CPAP works well but some patients don’t enjoy wearing the clunky apparatus. Up to 50 percent of the individuals prescribed a CPAP machine don’t use it every night. It’s much easier to get used to a sleep apnea mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is like a retainer or sports mouth guard. Oral appliances are also more convenient for individuals who travel as they only have to bring along a small mouthpiece, not a machine and a mask. If you call our office, we can make an appointment for you with our dentist. He or she can explain the benefits of oral appliance therapy in your situation.
Can a Dental Office Bill My Health Insurance for OAT?
Most times, we can check with your health insurance company to verify coverage. We want to remove as many barriers as possible so our patients can get a healthy, restful night’s sleep. Please call us at (732) 276-4135 if you have questions after reviewing your health insurance coverage for oral appliance therapy.