According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, nearly 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing problems. Unfortunately, most of these individuals are unaware that their breathing is being disrupted during sleep, an issue which can be detrimental to their overall health. Experienced restorative dentist Michael Bixby offers dental treatments for sleep apnea at his Red Bank, New Jersey practice. These include oral appliances, which effectively open the airways, enabling patients to get a full, uninterrupted night’s rest, and supply their body with the energy it needs to function properly. If you snore, the underlying problem could be a more serious sleep disorder. Contact Dr. Bixby’s Monmouth County dental practice today to learn more about treatment for sleep disorders.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a patient’s breathing stops or is severely constricted during the night. While there are varying degrees of sleep apnea, the disorder can have serious health implications if left untreated. When breathing is frequently interrupted each night, it limits the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, therefore diminishing the effectiveness of many of the body’s natural and necessary functions. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea may stop breathing 20 to 60 or more times per hour, without even realizing it. The most obvious symptom of sleep disordered breathing is snoring. Although snoring may be harmless in some cases, it could be the effect of an underlying issue such as sleep apnea. Some other symptoms of sleep disorders include:
While all of these symptoms can exist independently of one another as a sign of a different health problem, they are also important indicators of a sleep disorder. Dr. Bixby will perform a thorough examination, looking at all of these factors when diagnosing sleep apnea.
Most people do not associate sleep disorders with dental treatment, but rather attribute their condition to other health problems such as respiratory function or weight. On the contrary, changes to the alignment of the jaw can open the airways and significantly reduce instances of snoring and breathing cessation. Dr. Bixby offers several treatment options to his Red Bank patients who suffer from sleep apnea. Unlike more dated treatments like the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, these oral appliances are comfortable and inconspicuous.
The OASYS Oral/Nasal Airway System™ simultaneously addresses the two causes of sleep apnea - airway constriction in the nasal area and the throat. This oral appliance gently pulls the lower jaw and tongue forward to open the airways, while at the same time putting slight pressure on the upper lip to open the nasal passage.
The SomnoDent® splint is FDA-approved for sleep apnea treatment and works by gently moving the lower jaw forward during sleep to open the airway. This oral appliance is customized for each patient and is often considered the most comfortable option for treating sleep disordered breathing. Patients who wear the appliance can open and close their mouth comfortably, and speak and drink with the appliance in place.
Treating sleep disordered breathing will not only help you and your loved one get a better night’s sleep, it will improve your general health and increase your comfort level. If you exhibit any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment. Contact Dr. Bixby’s Red Bank, New Jersey dental practice to learn more about this disorder, and get on your way toward resting peacefully and healthfully.