Sleep Apnea

Take Back the Night

While chronic snoring may seem like a fairly trivial problem, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying issue. Do you or your partner snore so loudly and frequently that it’s affecting not only your quality of sleep, but your quality of life during the day, and even the state of your relationship? Do you wake up feeling exhausted after what should have been a full night’s rest? You may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea, and you may not even know it. Thankfully, your Hillsboro, TX dentist has a simple solution without the need for a CPAP machine.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

There are several different types of sleep apnea, but the one we will be discussing today that your Hillsboro dentist is able to help you with is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, preventing the sufferer from breathing properly throughout the night. They may even stop breathing periodically, resulting in choking or gasping for air.
When you are unable to breathe properly throughout the night, it can cause low blood oxygen levels, which can contribute to many serious systemic health problems. The only time the body is able to repair itself is during sleep, and if you are unable to find restful sleep night after night, your health will begin a slow downward spiral. Sleep apnea left untreated can even be fatal. The good news is, we have a simple, affordable, convenient solution for you at Cowan Family Dentistry.

Signs & Symptoms

Sleep apnea can often be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are largely present during sleep. Some of the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air
  • Sleeping & breathing disruptions
  • Frequent urination
  • Chronic headaches & migraines
  • Morning dry mouth
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue

Risk Factors

Sleep apnea is most common in adults, although some cases have been found in children. Some of the risk factors that increase your chance of developing sleep apnea include:

  • Male
  • Over age 40
  • Overweight
  • Large neck
  • Narrow airway
  • Alcohol
  • Sedatives
  • Family history

Health Consequences

Aside from just losing sleep, sleep apnea can increase your risk for serious health complications, including:

  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke

Sleep apnea can significantly decrease your quality of life and your health. Sleep apnea sufferers also have an increased risk of getting in a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Traditional sleep apnea treatment usually involves a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAP is a machine that attaches to a face mask that you wear at night that forces air in and out of the lungs and keeps the airway open. While CPAP machines are highly effective at treating sleep apnea, they are only effective if used properly. Many patients find the CPAP machine intolerable because it is loud, bulky and invasive, and prevents the user from finding restful sleep – kind of defeats the purpose, right?Thankfully, your trusted dentist in Hillsboro, TX offers a wonderful alternative with oral appliance therapy. Dr. Cowan has helped many patients treat their sleep apnea and improve their health and quality of life with oral appliance therapy. He will sit down with you in a comprehensive consultation to discuss your needs. If oral appliance therapy is right for you, we will create a custom oral appliance just for you.

Your sleep appliance is worn like a mouth guard at night, and is specially designed to gently shift the lower jaw forward, preventing the airway from collapsing and allowing the user to breathe comfortably throughout the night – without the need for a CPAP machine or invasive surgery! If you’re looking for a CPAP alternative, or if any of the above signs and symptoms sound familiar, we would love to speak with you about sleep apnea treatment with oral appliance therapy.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

There are many benefits in treating your sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy versus a CPAP machine or invasive surgery. Oral appliance therapy is:

  • Non-invasive solution
  • Affordable for any budget
  • Custom made & comfortable
  • Non-surgical alternative
  • CPAP alternative
  • Convenient & discreet for traveling

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are seeking an alternative to a CPAP machine, or you suspect you may have sleep apnea based on the above information, we would love to speak with you about oral appliance therapy. Treating your sleep apnea today will improve your quality of sleep, your quality of life during the day, and your overall health for a better tomorrow.

If you have any questions about sleep apnea treatment with oral appliance therapy or would like to schedule a consultation with your Hillsboro dentist, Dr. Ryan Cowan at Cowan Family Dentistry, give us a call today at (254) 582-9555 or schedule a visit online!

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