Do you or your partner snore? Are you excessively tired during the day? You may have sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the upper airway during sleep. During sleep apnea, breathing stops and starts when patients are asleep. Breathing can stop from 5 seconds to over a minute. Additionally, patients can stop breathing hundreds of times per night. Sleep apnea restricts oxygen to the heart and brain and can cause many serious problems if left untreated. It is important to receive professional care as soon as you notice changes in your sleep. Dr. Rachel Barone treats patients with sleep apnea in her Boulder, CO, dental office.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Common signs of sleep apnea include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Gastric reflux
- High blood pressure
Patients with sleep apnea often encounter an increased heart rate and disrupted sleep because of their sleep apnea. Over time, the strain that sleep apnea causes on the heart and brain can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and mood disorders.
Treating Sleep Apnea in Boulder, CO
Dr. Barone provides sleep apnea screenings and airway exams to her patients. Often, occlusion, or the bite, can impact sleep apnea. She will determine if your bite is exacerbating your sleep apnea symptoms and find the right treatment for your symptoms.
Dr. Barone will recommend an oral sleep appliance for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. This appliance offers an alternative to CPAP machines. CPAP machines deliver a continuous stream of air to keep the airway open. However, while these machines benefit patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, they can be difficult for some patients.
An oral sleep appliance, or mandibular advancement appliance, positions the lower jaw forward to expand the throat and keep the airway open. Dr. Barone takes dental impressions to create a custom sleep appliance. Typically, these appliances are acrylic, covering the upper and lower teeth and using metal hinges to bring the jaw forward.
Treat Sleep Apnea Today
Do you think you may have sleep apnea? Call 720-881-0614 or request a dental appointment at Gunbarrel Dental Center on our website. Please let Dr. Barone know if you have any questions about your symptoms or treatment options, and she will be glad to help.