Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block your airway. This can cause you to stop breathing for anywhere from a few seconds to almost a minute at a time. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep – even if you don’t realize it!
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include loud or frequent snoring or silent pauses in breathing and choking or gasping sounds. Other common symptoms include:
Obstructive sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a doctor, so you should ask your primary care doctor for a sleep evaluation. Your primary care doctor may provide a diagnosis or may refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating sleep problems. To find out if you have OSA, your doctor or the sleep specialist will complete a sleep evaluation. This may involve either an overnight sleep test at a sleep center or a home sleep apnea test (HSAT). A sleep specialist will interpret the data from your sleep test. The information from the evaluation and the sleep test results will be used to determine if you have OSA.
If you are diagnosed with OSA, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. OSA treatments include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy (OAT), or surgery. CPAP therapy is a very common treatment for OSA, but OAT is also an effective treatment option. If you and your doctor decide that OAT is the best treatment option for you, your doctor will write you a prescription for a custom-made oral appliance.
OAT is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and OSA that fits easily into your lifestyle. An oral appliance looks like an orthodontic retainer and is worn only during sleep. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help keep your upper airway open, which prevents sleep apnea and snoring.
Dr. Jacqueline Delash is trained to provide OAT and can make a custom-fitted oral appliance using impressions and models of your mouth. Patients enjoy it because it’s comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel and easy to clean.
Treating snoring or sleep apnea with OAT can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms - and your quality of life - can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. Custom-fit oral appliances from Fogle Family Dental can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health. If you have concerns about snoring and sleep apnea, contact us today! Our team at Fogle Family Dental is ready to answer your questions about obstructive sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy.
Do you ever feel like no matter how long you sleep, it’s not enough? Does your bed partner complain about your snoring? Are you dozing off in the afternoon or feel like you always need to take a nap? If so, you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. This can cause you to stop breathing hundreds of times per night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute at a time. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb the quality of your sleep.
If you think you have sleep apnea, you’re not alone. At least 54 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Although sleep apnea can occur at any age, the risk increases as you get older. Other factors that increase the risk of sleep apnea include having excess body weight, a narrow airway, a recessed chin or misaligned jaw.
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring or choking or gasping sounds. But you can also have sleep apnea, even if you don’t snore frequently or loudly. OSA can cause silent pauses in your breathing, so be on the lookout for these additional symptoms as well:
If you think you may have sleep apnea – don’t worry – we can help. Schedule a consultation to discuss sleep apnea by calling 770-461-1141.
Dr. Delash graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree from The Dental College of Georgia in Augusta, Ga and joined Fogle Family Dental in 2022. She has been treating sleep-related breathing disorders since 2017, and served as Assistant Professor at The Dental College of Georgia department of Restorative Sciences and The Medical College of Georgia department of Pulmonology.