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Is your sleep frequently disrupted by interruptions in breathing or loud snoring? The effects of these symptoms can have significant consequences on your overall health, sleep quality, and daytime functioning. Keep reading to learn more about how our dentists can help treat sleep apnea in Holyoke with a customized oral appliance.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
It is a common sleep disorder in which your breathing becomes shallow or repeatedly stops and starts while you’re sleeping. In extreme cases, pauses in breathing can last as long as 10 seconds, and these breathing interruptions can occur 30 times or more in an hour, preventing you from receiving deep, restful sleep. While it affects people of all ages, individuals over the age of 40 are more likely to develop this condition.
What Are the Most Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Loud, frequent snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has this sleeping disorder. When loud or chronic snoring is combined with other symptoms, it can be a warning sign that you have this condition. The other symptoms to look out for include:
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up with a headache
- Experiencing pauses in breathing during sleep
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Feeling tired during the day even after a full night’s sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
Sleep Apnea Causes
If you have this sleeping disorder, the muscles and soft tissues in the back of your throat become too relaxed during sleep, causing your throat to narrow and restrict the flow of air. Once your brain registers that you’re not receiving enough oxygen during sleep, it causes you to wake up so you can breathe. This leads to the choking or gasping sounds that frequently occur with this sleeping disorder. The following risk factors can also make you more likely to develop this condition:
- Excess weight
- Male gender
- Family history
- Frequent alcohol use
- Having a neck circumference greater than 16 inches
What Is Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Making a few small lifestyle changes can be effective for mild cases of this condition. This can include sleeping on your side, losing weight, or quitting smoking. Many people find relief from their symptoms with the help of a customized dental appliance. Surgery may be needed for more serious cases. To learn more about treating sleep apnea in Holyoke, we encourage you to contact us to make an appointment. Our experienced dentists will carefully evaluate your symptoms and determine if you’re a candidate for a custom-made dental appliance.
What Is an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?
A sleep apnea mouthpiece is only worn while you’re sleeping and works by maintaining the forward position of your jaw. This helps keep your throat open and prevents breathing interruptions by maintaining an open airway. The device is customized to fit the unique shape of your mouth and looks very similar to a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer.
How Much Does an Oral Appliance Cost?
How much you pay for your oral appliance depends on the specific device you receive and whether you have dental insurance. To learn more about pricing, contact our office for more information.
What Are the Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment (OAT)?
Oral appliance therapy offers numerous advantages that can improve the quality of your sleep and overall health. One of the main benefits of oral appliance therapy is that it’s an entirely non-invasive treatment option that can eliminate your symptoms without requiring surgery. Most of our patients who receive a sleep apnea mouth guard appreciate that their device is easy to clean and care for, and they also enjoy the overall ease of use associated with their device. Dental appliances are much more comfortable to wear in comparison to other treatments for sleep apnea, and the small size of the device makes it portable and convenient for traveling. Schedule your appointment today to learn more about the advantages of oral appliance therapy.
Does Insurance Cover Oral Appliance Therapy?
For most patients, many insurance companies will cover some or all of the costs associated with oral appliance therapy. For more information, please contact your insurance provider. Our helpful staff can also answer any questions you may have about the cost of your oral appliance for sleep apnea in Holyoke.
Don’t let loud snoring or interruptions in breathing disrupt your sleep any longer! With your dentist’s help, it’s possible to improve your sleep quality and health. Get in touch with us today to learn more about oral appliance therapy.