Sleep Apnea Therapy in Kansas City
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder effecting millions of US adults. Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. There are two forms of apnea, central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain is unable to trigger the body to inhale and exhale properly, and this form of apnea requires advanced treatment. The more common obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs, as the name suggests, when the airway is obstructed at night.
The most common treatment option for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure known as CPAP. However, many patients find themselves CPAP intolerant and do not use this therapy consistently because they’re unable to adjust to the sound and sensation. For these patients and those who travel frequently and need a more portable option, a custom oral appliance from Byars Dental may be a better solution. These appliances shift the jaw forward, tightening the throat, and preventing airway blockage during sleep. If you believe you’re suffering from sleep apnea or are unable to achieve the necessary relief with CPAP therapy alone, we invite you to contact our Kansas City dental office to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
The only way to know for sure that you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study. These tests can be completed in a sleep clinic or at home. In-office sleep studies are more sensitive and may more accurately capture your instances of apnea, cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds, and hypopnea, shallow breathing or cessation of breath for less than ten seconds at a time. However, many patients struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep during these tests. The at-home study systems are not as sensitive, but they may more accurately represent your condition. We recommend patients reach out to our office or a sleep doctor to schedule a sleep study if they notice any of the following indicators of apnea:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Waking gasping for breath or wheezing
- Excessive daytime exhaustion
- Difficulty concentrating or memory loss
- Changing in mood or behavior
It’s especially important that you contact a professional to schedule a sleep study if you are one of the many high risk patients. Men are almost twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Women with a neck circumference greater than 16 inches and men with a neck circumference of 17 inches are at higher risk. Patients over the age of 50 are also more likely to experience apnea.
Why Should I Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea Therapy?
Dentists have years of advanced training and experience understanding the way oral and facial structures work together. This makes dentists the ideal practitioners to work with patients who have airway obstructions. Dentists custom craft oral appliances for sleep apnea sufferers. These appliances shift the jaw forward, placing pressure on the throat and keeping the airway clear.
What Treatment is Right for Me?
Traditionally, patients who suffer from sleep apnea were treated with CPAP therapy. These systems force air through the nose and mouth during sleep. Not every patient can adjust to treatment with CPAP. If you’re unable to get used to the sounds and sensations of CPAP, you travel frequently, or you don’t receive adequate improvement in quantity or quality of sleep with CPAP alone, we may recommend oral appliance therapy or combined CPAP and oral appliance therapy.