Tulsa Sleep Apnea Treatments
Nearly 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and many people who suffer from this issue are unaware of it. Sleep apnea is often mistaken for snoring and is misdiagnosed by those who suffer from it.
However, sleep apnea is much more than a snore. It can cause issues like daytime drowsiness, serious migraines, and morning headaches. More serious issues can be related to sleep apnea such as high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke or heart disease. At Southard Dental, Dr. Wrany Southard and our team of Tulsa dentists and hygenists specialize in the treatment of sleep apnea.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. When the muscles in the throat and mouth relax during sleep, excess tissue can sag down towards the airway and block it temporarily.
This leads to snoring, sleep interruptions, and a number of other symptoms. If sleep apnea goes untreated, many serious complications may arise due to restricted oxygen flow to the brain and heart during sleep.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Not sure if you can recognize sleep apnea? Here are the most common symptoms of this condition:
- Daytime drowsiness and excessive sleepiness
- Continuous snoring
- Waking up “gasping” in the middle of the night
- Unexplained headaches and migraines
- Dry mouth and throat upon waking
- Episodes of breathing cessation when airway is blocked
- Difficulty sleeping
- Excessive tossing and turning
- Shortness of breath upon waking
If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, either in yourself or in a loved one, there is a good chance that it may be sleep apnea. It’s important to see a qualified professional like Dr. Wrany Southard for a consultation right away.
Options for Sleep Apnea Treatment
The two most popular options for treating sleep apnea are dental appliances (snore guards) and CPAP machines. These include:
- Snore guards are similar to retainers. They are worn at night, and designed to move the mouth into a better position when sleeping to ensure that the soft tissue of the mouth does not obstruct your airway. Because they are affordable, portable, and do not require power, snore guards are the best way to resolve most mild-to-moderate cases of sleep apnea.
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines use a pump and a mask to provide gentle, continuous airflow into the airway, preventing the tissues of the mouth and throat from obstructing the airway. While CPAP machines are effective, they are bulky and often hard to transport.
Surgical intervention is also an option, but is only usually required in extreme cases of sleep apnea or in those cases in which a CPAP or snore guard is not a viable option.
Worried About Sleep Apnea? Get a Consultation at Southard Dental Today!
Dr. Wrany Southard offers comprehensive sleep apnea treatment plans. Whether you are interested in an oral appliance (snore guard), a CPAP machine or surgical intervention, Southard Dental is here to help or provide a referral to a qualified oral surgeon.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t wait to schedule a consultation, and don’t let sleep apnea affect your lifestyle or your health. Contact us now for an appointment at (918) 294-1144, or come to our office at 6333 S. Memorial Dr., Tulsa, OK 74133.