Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Everyone snores occasionally, but if you’re snoring all the time and losing sleep (or, more likely, your partner is losing sleep), you may be suffering from what we call sleep disordered breathing, which can include sleep apnea. Many patients who have sleep apnea and have struggled with using a CPAP mask find relief using a simple oral appliance available at our Billings dental office.
Properly known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), sleep apnea occurs when your normal sleep is interrupted because there's not enough oxygen in the blood. If you have OSA, you actually stop breathing in your sleep, and your body wakes itself up to restart breathing and restore the levels of oxygen. Incredibly, some sleep apnea patients experience episodes as often as one hundred times per hour!
The traditional nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. This is administered through a facial or nasal mask during sleep.
However, sleep apnea patients often complain of discomfort when using the mask, and others simply don’t like wearing the mask because they find it restricting and uncomfortable. The real problem occurs when patients put their health in jeopardy by not using the device regularly or by giving up on it entirely.
Simple, Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea needs to be addressed as quickly as possible because the condition can lead to serious health complications. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are a few of the severe health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea.
The first step is to find out if your snoring is associated with sleep apnea. Dr. Luderitz will coordinate with your physician, who may recommend a sleep study to get a better understanding of your problem. If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we will work with your doctor to make sure that an alternative to CPAP is appropriate for you.
If we find that you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may benefit from a custom-made oral device that allows you to breathe normally and eliminates the need for use of the CPAP mask. This simple appliance opens up your airway and allows you to breathe freely, which reduces snoring so you and your partner can both get a good night’s sleep.
We know that no two sleep apnea patients are alike, and we will customize your device to meet your needs. If the generic CPAP machine isn’t working for you, you may benefit from a personalized oral appliance, which is comfortable and easy to use.
Get the Results You Want and the Sleep You Need
Sleep disordered breathing is upsetting and annoying for both sleep apnea patients and their partners. It can also be a scary experience when you suffer from loud snoring and wake yourself up multiple times a night because you're trying to catch your breath.
Your first step toward relief is to give us a call and arrange a consultation with Dr. Luderitz. At that time, we’ll talk about any symptoms you’re experiencing and your options for treatment.