Snoring and Sleep Apnea Solutions in Birmingham, AL
An oral appliance or a sleep apnea guard, I kind of stumble on those. I treat a lot of TMJ or TMD patients — patients that grind their teeth. Through my research and studies I noticed there was a correlation between people that grind their teeth and sleep apnea. I couldn't quite figure out the puzzle piece and then one day in some reading I kind of figured out that our patients would come back after I treated them for grinding but they weren't necessarily getting a good nights sleep. I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together and realized that this patient may have sleep apnea. I wanted to provide services for the patients so I came up with providing sleep guards or oral appliances for patients. It's a great service for patients that have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea. It's equivalent to a CPAP machine. Typically, there's about 30% compliance with the CPAP machine. Most people can't handle the mask and they feel like they're Darth Vader when they're putting the machine on or it makes that sound. Their buddies go to hunting camp and their buddies are making fun of them because they're plugging it into the wall and it's making all this noise. Another thing is claustrophobia. A lot of people feel claustrophobic with that mask on their face. The nice thing about a snore guard or a sleep apnea device is it's a small, compact, and it's just as effective of treating sleep apnea as a CPAP machine.
What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a condition that literally means “without breath.” A person with this condition stops his or her breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea can range from mild to severe.
Sufferers of sleep apnea normally complain about not getting enough rest and feeling tired the next day. Their sleeping cycles are interrupted, and they experience sleep deprivation. Sleep apnea causes can also be related to TMJ disorder. Snoring is the most noticeable sleep apnea symptoms among those who suffer from sleep apnea.
TMJ disorder could be the culprit of sleep apnea, although other health issues may cause it too, like obesity. Patients with sleep apnea snore, often heavily, possibly interrupting their own sleep and the sleep of those around them.
Dr. Perrigo is glad to offer a home sleep study you can use right at home instead of visiting a sleep center. This study will determine whether you have sleep apnea, and you won’t even have to leave your home. For mild to moderate cases, Dr. Perrigo will recommend sleep apnea solutions like oral appliance that you can wear to keep your airways open. For severe cases, he will have further recommendations.
What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the person stops and starts breathing several times while sleeping. Sleep apnea can be obstructive, central, or mixed.
Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers experience the relaxation of the soft tissue at the back of the throat during sleep. This causes the airway to get blocked and the person to stop breathing for a period of time of 10 seconds or more, sometimes hundreds of times in one night.
Central sleep apnea sufferers experience the failure of the central nervous system to signal the muscles that control breathing. Mixed sleep apnea is the mix of both central and obstructive sleep apneas. The most common type of sleep apnea is the obstructive sleep apnea.
How to Tell if You Have Sleep Apnea
There are many sleep apnea symptoms that you can look for to determine whether you may need to see a doctor to determine if you have sleep apnea, such as loud snoring that is noticeable to others, sudden waking up with a choking feeling, sleepiness and lack of energy during the day, headaches, drowsiness while driving, among others.
If sleep apnea is not properly treated, it can wreak serious havoc on your health. Some of the most common consequences are irritability, nervousness, loss of memory, unclear thinking, greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, immune system diseases, stroke, obesity, and decreased sex drive.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Once the doctor reads the results of your sleep apnea study, what normally happens is that you get an oral appliance prescribed and fitted. This sleep apnea solutions are similar to a mouth guard. The oral appliance adjusts your lower jaw to keep your airways open, allowing you to breathe in and out with ease. This way you will be able to sleep and get the rest you need without snoring or waking up suddenly.
Dr. Perrigo takes an impression of your mouth in order to fit the appliance to your specific situation. Dr. Perrigo calculates the position in which your upper and lower jaw needs to come together and adjusts it every once in a while to make sure it’s doing its job to fix your sleep apnea problem.
After the prolonged use of this oral appliance, Dr. Perrigo will have you complete the sleep study once again and check your progress and adjust according to the results. These oral appliances are proven to be very effective sleep apnea solutions in many patients of Perrigo Dental Care.
Are you ready to find out if sleep apnea is the culprit of your sleeping problems? Call us at 205-545-8007 or request your complimentary snoring and sleep apnea solutions and consultation by using our convenient online form.