Sleep Apnea

Scottsdale Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea

From improving memory retention and concentration to protecting mental and physical health, uninterrupted sleep is a key element to maintaining overall well being. When the ability to sleep through the night is compromised by a breathing condition, such as sleep apnea, patients are at risk of developing more serious health consequences, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, and diabetes. 

Identifying Sleep Apnea

There are two main forms of the condition: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the tissue at the back of the throat relaxes while the patient is asleep, blocking air from entering and exiting the lungs. For patients with central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the muscles which control breathing, preventing proper airflow.

In both scenarios, the brain recognizes the restricted airflow and sends a message to the body to wake up in order to restart breathing. This process continues throughout the night, preventing patients from getting much needed rest. 

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

As this breathing condition occurs patients are asleep, most are unaware that they are exhibiting the signs and symptoms. Often it is partners or family members that are awoken by the characteristic loud snoring or choking sounds, indicating a sufferer is attempting to breathe.

There are several warning signs that can point to sleep apnea. In adults, common side effects are daytime fatigue, quickly falling asleep during the day, waking up with a headache, and severe teeth grinding. Children with sleep apnea may experience similar symptoms, as well as dark circles under their eyes, irritability, ADHD, and bedwetting.

At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, when we suspect a patient is exhibiting signs of sleep apnea, we ask the following three questions: 

1. Do you have trouble going to sleep?
2. Do you have trouble staying asleep?
3. Do you feel rested when you wake up in the morning?

After identifying whether your symptoms are indicative of sleep apnea, our Scottsdale dentist Dr. Kelly refers patients to a trusted sleep physician for a sleep study. During this overnight evaluation, your breathing patterns and oxygen levels are monitored and analyzed for sleep apnea. Once a diagnosis of this breathing condition has been made, patients return to our Scottsdale dental practice to determine the best treatment. 

Treating Sleep Apnea

Traditionally, continuous positive airway pressure therapy is used as a blanket treatment for sleep apnea. However, given the restrictive nature of the machine as well as the noise it creates, many patients find this option difficult to tolerate and claustrophobia-inducing and often opt to not wear it. 

Dr. Michael Kelly has years of experience working with sleep physicians and other medical specialists to identify, diagnose, and develop alternative treatments for patients unable to comply with CPAP therapy. In particular, our team specializes in the development of oral appliances for treating sleep apnea. 

The Benefit of Oral Appliances

Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances for sleep apnea are specifically designed to target the cause of the condition. Designed to comfortably move the chin forward, oral appliances prevent soft tissue in the back to the mouth from collapsing into the airway, allowing patients to comfortably sleep through the night without a breathing episode. Oral devices are custom made to each patient, ensuring treatment is precise and personalized to each individual. As these appliances do not require the heavy machinery associated with CPAP, many patients find this alternative sleep apnea therapy to be easier to comply with. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, seeking medical care immediately is crucial in order to prevent additional complications from compromising your overall health. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, our team is committed to helping patients find personalized solutions to achieving a better night’s sleep with sleep apnea therapy in Scottsdale. To schedule your sleep apnea consultation, contact our team today.