Deep Sleep medication IN APEX

Get Healthier, Restful Sleep With Dental Sleep Medicine

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Treat Sleep Apnea And More

At Cardinal Family Dentistry

Dr. Barker is a qualified dentist with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and an active member of the academy
30 million adults in the United States have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which can cause poor-quality sleep and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke
We can treat both snoring and OSA with Oral Appliance Therapy, a comfortable and convenient alternative to CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machines
OSA treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy is covered by most insurance plans, and we work with all major healthcare and insurance providers
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea disorder that occurs due to soft tissue relaxation in the throat and palate during sleep. These tissues collapse, obstructing the airway and preventing proper breathing. This can interrupt breathing for up to 10 seconds or longer, and this may occur hundreds of time per night, interfering with sleep and proper oxygenation of the blood.

What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of OSA?

OSA has a number of common signs and symptoms. These include heavy snoring, gasping and choking sounds while sleeping, gasping when you wake, daytime sleepiness and memory issues, headaches, and irritability. Your throat may also feel dry or scratchy when you wake up. If you notice any of these signs, call us right away for a diagnosis.

How Do Oral Appliances Work?  

Oral appliances look similar to an athletic mouthguard or retainer, and they are custom-designed by Dr. Barker to fit your mouth and jaw. The primary cause of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is oral tissue in the throat and palate relaxing, which blocks the airway and interrupts proper breathing during sleep. To prevent this, an oral appliance will shift the position of your mouth and jaw. The lower jaw (mandible) will typically be shifted slightly forward into a more comfortable position.

This forward shift of your jaw allows the tissues at the back of your throat to relax without sagging into the airway. It also provides your tongue with more room in your mouth, which prevents it from collapsing and blocking your airway. In turn, this provides you with a steady flow of oxygen and allows you to breathe more deeply at night. You will feel more well-rested, and avoid the negative effects of sleep apnea.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

An oral appliance is a special type of retainer or mouthguard that is made to position your jaw correctly during sleep and prevent your airway from collapsing. This, in turn, eliminates the need for other treatments that are less comfortable , such as a CPAP.

After you have completed a sleep study in Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, or New Hill, Dr. Barker will fit you with an oral appliance to help you get a restful night’s sleep. If you are interested in an appointment, contact us now at (919) 589-5001, or come to our office at 1481 Chapel Ridge Road, Apex, NC 27502.

Can I Use Oral Appliance Therapy Instead Of A CPAP?

Yes! CPAP machines are effective, but most patients report that oral appliance therapy is much more comfortable, because it does not require a large, bulky CPAP machine, and does not restrict sleeping positions.

If you do not like your CPAP machine, oral appliance therapy may be a viable solution. In severe cases of OSA, CPAP machines may even be used in conjunction with oral appliance therapy to ensure the airway is not blocked during sleep.

Are Oral Appliances Effective For Treating Sleep Apnea?

Yes. However, it’s important to note that the results may vary based on the extent of your apnea, and oral appliances may not be right for all patients. Studies show that oral appliances can completely eliminate apnea in about 50% of patients, and significantly improve it in about 10-20% of patients.

Oral appliances are particularly effective when they are used in combination with lifestyle changes and other treatments that can help eliminate OSA. Some of the changes and treatments that are often recommended to help with sleep apnea include:

  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake
  • Sleeping on your side rather than your back
  • Orthodontic treatments to adjust the jaws and position of the teeth

It’s also important to note that oral appliances may not be the best choice for cases of particularly severe apnea. For serious cases, your sleep dentist may prescribe a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine instead.

Oral appliances also can only be used to treat “obstructive” sleep apnea, which is caused by the sagging of oral tissues into the airway. “Central” sleep apnea is rarer and is caused by your brain failing to send the proper signals to your muscles to breathe. A CPAP is typically recommended for central sleep apnea, or a device known as an “adaptive servo-ventilator” may be recommended.

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