Sleep apnea is more than just a snore. When left untreated, it can reduce your quality of sleep and seriously affect your whole-body health. Our tailored treatments can help you breathe with ease so you can catch some zzz’s.
In the short term, sleep apnea can cause drowsiness and poor quality sleep. And in the long run, it can raise your risk of life-threatening conditions like heart attacks or strokes. Getting treatment means you'll be able to breathe properly, sleep easily, and take control of your health. No child or adult should be snoring. We can help both! Sleep Apnea leads to a variety of diseases and can decrease your life expectancy by 5-7 years on average.
It’s estimated that about 1 in 4 Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
Here are 5 questions you should ask before treating sleep apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy!
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You deserve a peaceful, healthy sleep. That’s why we provide CPAP machines, which are the gold standard in treating snoring and airway issues. The machine pumps air through a comfortable face mask so you can breathe with ease and finally rest.
Dealing with minor sleep apnea? A custom splint can move your jaw into a healthier position for less snoring and more sleeping.
We'll capture your blood cells and extract all growth factors to facilitate healing in other areas of the body that are experiencing pain.
Dealing with an emergency sleep apnea issue? We'll make a point to get you in the same day you call our office so you can get back to sleeping soundly.
We work with a network of local providers, including pulmonologists, cardiologists, and ENT (ear, nose & throat) specialists, to help treat and diagnose patients with sleep apnea.
See real patient success stories.
Without treatment, low-quality sleep can cause things like irritability, problems focusing, or even drowsiness when driving. But with proper sleep apnea treatment, you'll be able to sleep properly again. You'll feel rested after just 7-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep apnea treatment helps reduce your risk of health conditions like headaches, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, and more. You'll be able to breathe properly and without interruptions at night, which is great for your overall health.
Sleep apnea treatment helps you feel more energetic and get through the day more easily. It will be easier to do things like exercise and lose weight. Proper treatment may also help restore your libido and improve intimacy, since obstructive sleep apnea is often associated with low sex drive.
A sleep physician will evaluate your condition and perform a sleep test to see if you are struggling with sleep apnea or central sleep apnea. Some evaluations can even be done from the comfort of your own home.
Depending on your condition, your dental sleep medicine recommendations may differ. Patients with minor apnea may just need a special oral appliance from a dentist in Bellingham, WA , while those with more serious apnea may need treatment like a CPAP, or even oral surgery to remove some oral tissue. Your sleep specialist will make the appropriate recommendation..
If your sleep specialist recommends a retainer, orthodontics, or oral surgery, our team is here to help. We will work closely with you and your sleep specialist to help you control and manage your apnea.
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Addressing sleep apnea involves a multifaceted approach, recognizing the chronic nature of the condition and the need for long-term management. Lifestyle modifications serve as a crucial starting point, offering effective strategies to alleviate symptoms. For individuals with sleep apnea, weight loss, smoking cessation, the avoidance of alcohol and specific medications, and adjustments to sleep positions can significantly contribute to symptom relief.
In cases where lifestyle changes may not suffice, medical interventions become essential. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy stands as a frontline treatment, involving a machine that delivers a controlled air pressure through a mask, preventing upper airway obstruction during sleep. Additionally, alternative airway pressure devices and oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, work towards maintaining an open throat, proving effective for certain individuals.
For more severe instances, surgical options come into consideration. Various surgical procedures aim to enlarge the airway, subsequently reducing the frequency of sleep apnea episodes. The selection of a specific surgical approach is contingent upon the underlying cause and severity of the condition. In navigating the complexities of sleep apnea management, consulting with healthcare professionals is crucial for tailored recommendations that align with individual needs and circumstances.
Remember, if you suspect you have sleep apnea, it's important to seek medical advice. Dr. Chaz Vittitow at The Local Dentist in Bellingham, WA, is highly experienced in treating sleep apnea and can help. Call (360) 543-8488 to schedule a consultation.
Certain factors and behaviors can exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms. Consuming alcohol or sedatives before bed can relax the muscles in the throat, making it more likely for the airway to become blocked. Smoking can also worsen sleep apnea, as it causes inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.
Being overweight is another major factor that can make sleep apnea worse. Excess weight contributes to fat deposits around the upper airway that can obstruct breathing. In addition, certain sleeping positions, such as lying on your back, can cause the tongue and soft palate to rest against the back of your throat, blocking the airway.
Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. This condition is typically caused by a blockage in the airway, often when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. There are also other types of sleep apnea, like central sleep apnea, which is less common and occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Several factors can contribute to the onset of sleep apnea, including excess weight, having a large neck size, being older, having a family history of sleep apnea, using alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers, smoking, and having a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems.
Your sleep specialist and your sleep apnea dentist may make some lifestyle recommendations to help with obstructive sleep apnea. These may include quitting smoking, exercising, losing weight, avoiding drugs and alcohol (especially before bed), and sleeping on your side, rather than on your back or your stomach.
CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is a apnea dental appliance that pumps a steady, gentle stream of pressurized air into your airway through a face mask. This stream prevents your airway tissue from collapsing, which prevents obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy is usually recommended for patients with more severe sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy, or OAT for short, uses a special mouthguard. These oral appliances change the position of your jaw when you sleep, which prevents oral tissue from sagging into your airway. This means that your breathing won't be interrupted at night. OAT is ideal for patients with minor-to-moderate apnea.