Sleep Dentistry at Facer Hales Parker Dentistry
As one of the leading sleep dentistry offices in Ladera Ranch, CA, we take pride in helping our clients with their sleep issues. There is a range of severity in sleep disorders, whether you are experiencing fatigue, snoring, breathing through your mouth, or have sleep apnea, we can help you get better sleep at night. On average, about 50-70 million Americans currently have ongoing sleep disorders and 18 million of those struggle with sleep apnea. Let us help you find the correct treatment for your situation, and get you back to ideal health.
Sleep Apnea Dentistry
Sleep apnea is more common than most realize and could be the cause of your fatigue and complete exhaustion throughout the day. As millions of people lay down to sleep and their bodies begin to relax, the muscle tension drains away from the face, neck, and air passages. This causes the jaw muscles to relax and open the mouth, and the tongue then slides back, collapsing their airway and resulting in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA.
Once the airways close, the lungs and diaphragm can’t force enough air through them, and the body begins to suffer from oxygen deprivation. The body’s natural reaction is to wake up abruptly, but those who suffer from this fall back to sleep, and the cycle restarts. A person with sleep apnea can wake up as many as a few hundred times a night and often never remember it.
Waking up that often, even for just a microsecond at a time, completely interrupts the body’s ability to complete a sleep cycle. No sleep cycles mean poor rest. Poor rest means that those who suffer from sleep apnea frequently think they are getting plenty of rest and have no idea why they’re still utterly exhausted every day.
Signs to Look For
There is a spectrum of sleep disorders, where sleep apnea is on one extreme and ideal health on the other. We tell our patients that people don’t go from being healthy to having sleep apnea from one year to the next. Sleep apnea is something that gets progressively worse as we age, and often there are multiple signs and symptoms showing that we are progressing towards sleep apnea. Here are some common signs to look for:
Clenching and grinding problems
Crowded or crooked teeth
Narrow vaulted palate
Frequent headaches or migraines
An open bite
Tendency to clear throat often
Post nasal drip
Choke on food often
Toss and turn during the night
Feel tired during the day
Don’t feel refreshed after sleeping
Development Leading to Sleep Disorders
Some people are more prone to developing sleep apnea strictly based on their skeletal anatomy. Underdevelopment of the jaws typically starts as a young child, and if not addressed during our growing years, it will lead to an adult with underdeveloped jaws.
Having underdeveloped jaws will automatically put you at a higher risk of suffering from some type of sleep disorder, like sleep apnea.
Our jaws are meant to grow in a downward and forward direction throughout childhood and adolescence. When the growth is delayed or does not fully occur, our jaws stay more posterior and will narrow our airway space. The narrowing of the airway will put you at a higher risk of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). At Facer Hales Parker a 3D x-ray is taken to verify the size of the airway, because physical appearances alone can be misleading.
Although being overweight is a significant risk factor for sleep apnea, many of our patients being treated for a sleep disorder are fit and have a normal BMI. When your airway anatomy is working against you, there is only so much you can do, and no level of fitness can make up for it. Eventually the body's ability to compensate for the narrowness decreases, and symptoms of sleep disorders start to be felt more and more.
Oral Appliance For Sleep Apnea
A sleep apnea appliance is one of the easiest ways to deal with apnea, and it works very well in almost all but the most severe cases. This device is very much like a traditional retainer. Its purpose is to stimulate bone development, which will counteract the underdevelopment, and open up the airway. It will also keep the jaw properly aligned, which keeps the airways from getting pinched closed.
The brand we like to use in our office is Vivos. Vivos is a highly respected style of sleep appliance that has been proven to provide excellent results. But why choose a Vivos appliance? There are quite a few reasons. Vivos devices are:
Pain and inflammation free
Easy to Maintain
Custom-Designed for You
CPAP Alternatives For Your Sleep Apnea
Intervening before we develop sleep apnea typically leads to better results and overall better health. Early intervention can prevent the need for CPAP use. Essentially, the CPAP machine actively pumps air through the passages, which keeps them properly open. While this helps oxygenate the body, it is not fixing the root problem, which means you would need to use the machine for the rest of your life to maintain the results.
This isn’t the right course for everyone, however. Here at our practice, we provide CPAP alternatives to give you the sleep you deserve with a treatment that works best for you.
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