According to an Institute of Medicine report, it has been estimated that 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders including sleep disorder breathing .
Daytime sleepiness costs the American economy an estimated $150 billion in lost worker productivity and worker accidents.
Daytime sleepiness contributes to nearly 1 in 5 car accidents that cause serious injury and $48 billion is spent each year treating those injured.
Untreated sleep apnea, which can cause you to sleep poorly, has been shown to contribute to health issues that can shorten a life span by 10 or more years.
Untreated snoring can cause your bed partner to experience chronic poor sleep and experience daytime sleepiness problems as well.
Sleep Disorder Breathing is a Medical Problem
Sleep disorders, which must be diagnosed by a sleep physician, include sleep apnea. Apnea, which may be a life-threatening condition, is where you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more while you’re asleep and can occur hundreds of times a night. When you stop breathing, your body wakes itself again and again to allow you to breath and thus you wake up tired. The lack of breathing lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood and stresses your heart and circulatory system which contributes to medical conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Atrial fibrillation
- Personality changes
- Nocturia (needing to use the restroom several times a night)
If your sleep physician diagnoses you with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a CPAP machine, surgery, or another form of treatment many be prescribed for you. Dr. Haworth comes in to the equation with a dental sleep appliance for those cases that do not require a CPAP or for cases where a CPAP cannot be used. From a prescription by the sleep doctor and working with your sleep clinic, a small dental appliance is made, fitted and fine-tuned to provide you the best possible healthy night of sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Treating Sleep Apnea or Snoring
There are many names given to the dental appliance that is made to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Snore guard, mandibular advancement device, and oral appliance therapy are names used for the dental appliance that is made by Dr. Haworth to open your airway and allow you to breath while you sleep. Patients sometimes think they look like sports mouth guards or orthodontic retainers but are a bit more complicated. These devices work by moving the lower jaw forward and preventing the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat from blocking the airway.
Advantages for oral appliances are:
- They are comfortable and easy to wear
- It usually takes only a couple weeks to get acclimated to wearing them
- Oral appliances are small and convenient for travel
- This treatment is reversible and non invasive
- Complications are rare and manageable
Is Oral Appliance Therapy Right for You in Treating Your Sleep Problems?
If you have already seen your sleep physician then ask them if an oral appliance could be used in your treatment protocol. If you have not seen a sleep doctor yet come in and talk to Dr. Haworth about screening and referral to a local sleep clinic to determine your diagnosis and receiving treatment recommendations. Oral appliance therapy may be a simple way to get the rest you need and lead a more productive and healthy life.
You may click on the link to the left for a portal to all the pre-appointment forms for your dental sleep medicine visit. You will find the questionnaires are straight forward, thorough and easy to fill out at the time and place of your convince. 10 minutes should be all you need if you have your insurance and health information handy. Give our office a call at 457-5152 if we may answer any questions that come up.