At Shank Dentistry, we are committed not just to our patients’ oral health, but to their overall health as well. Sleep-related breathing disorders affect a growing number of our patients, and we are finding more and more evidence of how these disorders affect our overall health.
As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Dr. Shank is committed to helping our patients live healthy lives by treating snoring and other sleep-related breathing disorders, many times without the use of a cumbersome CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine.
Snoring and Its Complications
Snoring can place a strain on even the best relationship. If you have ever slept in the same room as someone who snores, you know that it can disrupt sleep and cause frustration. Many couples who have one partner who snores end up sleeping in separate rooms, limiting intimacy and connection.
In addition to the practical inconveniences, snoring causes a number of serious health conditions. Snoring disrupts normal sleep patterns and can cause you to wake without feeling rested. It may also be an indication of another serious health condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risks and Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, causes disruption in regular sleep patterns by interrupting breathing. When you stop breathing, your brain alerts your body to wake up. Even though you may have no recollection of these events, it can happen dozens and even hundreds of times per night as your brain pulls your body out of REM sleep where the positive benefits of sleep are achieved.
Constant sleep interruptions prevent you from achieving restful, regenerative sleep, which can have serious health implications. Sleep apnea has been linked to the following health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Mood disorders such as depression
- Headaches and migraines
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux (GERD)
- Male impotence
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children
Sleep disorders can make you less alert, making it difficult to concentrate and potentially creating danger when operating a vehicle or machinery. You can learn more by taking this Screening Questionnaire.
Treatment for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
After diagnosis of a sleep condition, many physicians recommend treatment with a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine causes your airway to remain open by forcing a constant flow of air through your airway as you sleep. Many patients (and their bed-partners) find it difficult to sleep using a CPAP machine and remove the mask during the night, leaving their condition untreated.
The AADSM recognizes oral appliances as an effective first-line treatment solution for mild to moderate sleep apnea and snoring. They are also recognized as a treatment alternative for patients with severe sleep apnea who don’t tolerate a CPAP well. Oral appliances open obstructed airways by gently moving your lower jaw forward. Many patients find oral appliance therapy (OAT) a more convenient and comfortable way to address both snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Shank can create a variety of custom oral appliances that are comfortable, fit well, and easy to use.
Contact Shank Dentistry to Learn More about Snoring and OSA Solutions
Dr. Kyle Shank has experience helping patients achieve a better night’s sleep. He will guide you through your treatment options and help you achieve greater health with improved restorative sleep. So what’re you waiting for? Contact our friendly dental office today!