Sleep Apnea Treatment in Fort Smith, AR
Sleep apnea is a relatively common problem. In fact, it is estimated that millions of Americans have undiagnosed sleep apnea, and it can cause serious consequences that affect patients’ everyday lives. An oral appliance that is custom made by a dentist to treat sleep apnea can lead to a much better quality of sleep and life for people who regularly stop breathing during the night. To learn more about our sleep apnea services, please contact our office.Schedule Consultation
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much during sleep. When this happens, the patient stops breathing anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds at a time. The patient must wake up just enough to begin breathing again, but most people have no memory of waking up during the night. When these episodes occur many times throughout the night, the patient never enters into a deep sleep, so they end up with a very poor quality of sleep night after night, which can cause many different problems.
How can I know if I have sleep apnea?
The only way to know for sure is to complete a sleep study with a sleep doctor who can monitor your breathing while you sleep. However, there are some common signs that can indicate that a patient has sleep apnea and should visit a sleep doctor, including:
- Consistent Lack of Energy; Chronic Fatigue
- Loud Snoring, Followed by Periods of Silence
- Grogginess, Irritability, and Mood Swings
- Waking up With a Dry or Sore Throat
- Frequent Headaches, Especially in the Morning
- Difficulty Concentrating or Memory Loss
How is sleep apnea treated?
Once your sleep apnea is diagnosed, you have a few treatment options to choose from. CPAP machines involve placing a mask over the nose and mouth at night that administers a steady flow of air into the lungs all night. Other patients opt for oral appliances, which are much smaller, less expensive, and do not require distilled water or electricity to function. Oral appliances are custom made to fit comfortably in the mouth and position the jaw in a way that keeps the airway open all night for uninterrupted sleep.
Interested in a custom oral appliance for yourself? Schedule a consultation with our team today!