Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repetitive episodes of sleep arousal due to the collapse of the upper airway tissues during sleep. The tell-tale clinical symptom of OSA is usually excessive and persistent snoring. People that share a bed or room with someone with OSA will sometimes witness or hear that the snoring abruptly ceases during the apneic episodes. Waking up as many as 100s of times every night results in daytime sleepiness that can lead to impairment of almost any day-to-day activity. Unfortunately, CPAP, one of the most frequently prescribed sleep apnea treatments, doesn’t work for everyone.
Diagnosis of OSA very often leads to a referral for CPAP treatment. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and must be worn each night. There are patients who like their CPAP machines from the day they receive them and never experience problems adjusting. There are many variations of the CPAP machine, but unfortunately, there are quite a few people that are simple CPAP intolerant. Side effects include face breakouts from the straps, nasal and eye irritation, dry mouth, sore throat, and runny nose. Patients with allergies, mouth breathers, and stomach sleepers may find CPAP to be more of a hindrance to their sleep. Studies have uncovered that roughly 23-45% of patients using CPAP end up using it regular. Because of the fact that most CPAP users average only 4-5 hours a night anyway, the alternative of dealing with OSA arousals doesn’t seem much different to CPAP intolerant patients.
Dental Solutions for Sleep Apnea
Thankfully, there are alternative solutions for patients with CPAP Intolerance. Dental devices and oral appliances have been extremely successful in treating sleep apnea and snoring. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says that oral appliances should be considered a first line treatment for mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, just as CPAP. Furthermore, oral appliances are a legitimate alternative therapy for severe apnea patients that simply can’t tolerate CPAP.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Barrington
Dr. Brent Engelberg possesses extensive experience treating sleep apnea, working closely with sleep labs and physicians to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. In many cases, he can successfully treat sleep apnea with comfortable oral appliances that prevent the obstruction of airways during sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea and your treatment options, call us to schedule an appointment with Arlington Heights Smiles. In addition to treating sleep apnea, our practice serves patients in need of restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dentistry. We provide excellent dental care to patients from Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Wheeling, Palatine, and the neighboring communities and in the 60010 zip code.