Mirci Dental provides sleep apnea treatment to help you rest better at night. Sleep apnea can contribute to a number of serious medical conditions, so we encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to minimize your risk and improve your overall health. Contact our office at 801-486-1155 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mirci or Dr. Dan and learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Salt Lake City, Utah.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep-breathing disorder. This condition is characterized by airway obstructions, such as those caused by collapsed airway tissues or by the tongue rolling back in the throat. This prevents normal breathing while asleep and can cause your sleep to be fragmented. Sleep apnea is often noticed first by others who see their loved one sleeping and realize that something out of the ordinary is occurring while they are asleep.
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Choking, gasping or snorting sounds while asleep
- Gasping or choking sensations during sleep
- Hypersomnia (excessive daytime drowsiness)
- Long pauses in breathing – these pauses may occur dozens of times a night, and they may range from a few seconds to nearly a minute in duration
- Headaches upon waking
- A dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Waking abruptly with shortness of breath during the night
- Poor, fitful or restless sleep
- Mood changes, including depression, anxiety and irritability
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty focusing
Snoring is a problem that affects 67% of adults by the age of 40. It is conservatively estimated that 100 million people in the United States snore every night. Snoring can cause disrupted sleep for both snorers and their sleeping partners and it can lead to serious health problems.
Snoring is the harsh sound that occurs when the tissue ar the back of the roof of the mouth vibrates against the back of the throat. During sleep, those tissues, the tongue, and the muscles that line the airway all relax. When this occurs, the airway narrows. As air passes through the narrower airway, the tissues vibrate against each other and create the snoring sound that can grow louder during sleep. Snoring may also be an indication of a bigger health problem-sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft tissues of the throat completely close off the airway so that air cannot flow into the lungs. This airway blockage can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and body. When that happens, the brain alerts the muscles in the airway to tighten up and unblock the air passage. This leads to a process of blocking and unblocking of the airway that causes significant disruption of sleep. The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking at night
- Significant daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
Sleep apnea is a health problem that can be associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke. It is important for patients to see a physician or a sleep disorder specialist if the are experiencing snoring and daytime sleepiness.
An oral appliance is a small, custom-made acrylic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth or tongue (similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard). This device slightly advances the lower jaw or tongue, which moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway. This improves breathing and reduces snoring and apnea. The appliance is fabricated and customized for each patient by Dr. Mirci, who is experienced in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The appliance is usually well tolerated by patients. This treatment is most effective for people with snoring and mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, but certain cases of severe sleep apnea can also be successfully treated. The appliance can also be used with CPAP to decrease the air pressure.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
At Mirci Dental we provide a take-home sleep test and oral appliance therapy. Using the take-home sleep test, our dentists can determine if you have sleep apnea or not. Once diagnosed, we will be able to provide treatments to help you breathe easily while asleep.
Oral appliance therapy is an alternative to traditional CPAP treatment or surgical procedures. This treatment relies on a custom-made oral device, similar to a night guard. This device is designed to keep your airways open, usually by moving your lower jaw slightly forward. This forward placement tightens the soft tissues and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents them from collapsing and keeps your tongue from rolling back. By wearing the appliance while you sleep, you can keep your airways open so that you can breathe normally and get the rest you need.
For more information about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with our dentists.