Obstructive sleep apnea affects 22 million people in the United States, but these are conservative estimates. If you or someone in your family struggles with getting a good night’s sleep because of sleep apnea, the team at Gentling Smiles, under the direction of Garrett Gentling, DDS, offers effective treatments for this common sleep disorder, including oral appliances by leading manufacturer SomnoMed®. To learn more about your treatment options for sleep apnea, call the Shoreline, Washington, office, or schedule an appointment using the easy online booking tool.
There are several types of sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is far and away the most common. With OSA, the soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse while you sleep, obstructing your airways and preventing you from breathing properly.
When this happens, your brain rouses you to clear your airways, and this can happen throughout the night — sometimes dozens of times an hour.
Aside from the obvious lack of sleep, which can lead to daytime fatigue, OSA is associated with some potentially serious health complications, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
The most common sign that you may have sleep apnea is excessive snoring. Though everyone snores from time to time, the snoring that comes with OSA is slightly different in that it’s characterized by a struggle to breathe, followed by gasping for air once the airways open up again.
Before Dr. Gentling recommends a treatment option, he may first work with sleep specialists to determine the extent of the problem. If the sleep specialists find that an oral appliance is appropriate for your sleep apnea, Dr. Gentling steps in and gets you set up.
Dr. Gentling works with SomnoMed, which manufactures the SomnoDent® sleep apnea oral appliance — a custom-fitted dental device designed specifically for sleep apnea and excessive snoring.
SomnoDent works by comfortably positioning your lower jaw forward, which relaxes the tissues at the back of your throat and prevents the base of your tongue from sliding back and blocking your airways.
There are many advantages to using an oral appliance to remedy your sleep apnea, but the main one is ease of use. Traditionally, sleep apnea is treated using a CPAP machine, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. Though effective, a CPAP machine is cumbersome and needs a power source.
Conversely, the SomnoDent device is:
If you’d like to explore whether an oral appliance is right for your sleep apnea, call Gentling Smiles, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.