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Sleep Apnea Burlington, NC

Did you know Fuller Dental helps patients with Sleep Apnea?

In most mild to moderate cases, we can treat patients using oral appliance therapy. This is a successful treatment alternative that can replace the CPAP machine. Fuller Dental offers custom oral sleep devices for sleep apnea treatment in Burlington, NC.

An oral device is custom-made for you and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw forward to help maintain an open upper airway. This will reduce the collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat. Research shows oral appliance therapy is a good treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.  Even though Fuller Dental provides sleep apnea treatment, we also treat any dental concerns you may have.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder. Common signs are loud snoring and episodes where the patient stops breathing during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea experience a collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the throat, blocking the airway and forcing a loud snore or gasp to restart the airflow.

In many cases, the patient does not know they are snoring and not breathing normally until their sleep partner lets them know. They may also notice changes in their daily quality of life.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Although snoring is a common symptom, it does not always mean a patient has a sleep disorder. Many patients with sleep disorders either do not snore or do not realize they do. There are several key signs of a sleep-related disorder, such as sleep apnea. Discussing your lifestyle habits and concerns during visits can help identify larger health issues like sleep apnea. Common signs can include:

  • Snoring, often loudly
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Feeling groggy or sleepy during the day
  • Moody, irritable
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating

There are also certain risk factors for developing sleep apnea that your Fullerton dentist can discuss with you. These include being overweight, hypertensive, diabetic, over 45, or a smoker. Research has shown that males, especially those with a larger neck circumference, are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Burlington

American Academy of Sleep Medicine logo

Although CPAP is still a good treatment option for sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy has proven effective for mild to moderate cases. The CPAP often leads to noncompliance among patients because it is uncomfortable and hard to maintain. Not treating your sleep apnea will increase your risk of other health concerns, such as heart attack and stroke.

Patients seem to tolerate oral sleep devices very well. They have a high compliance rate among patients, which leads to fewer symptoms and health risks. Custom-fit, your oral sleep device is like a mouth guard worn nightly while sleeping.

Repositioning the jaw for natural airflow, the oral appliance reduces or eliminates the continual cessation of breathing, leading to symptoms and health problems. Convenient, comfortable, and portable, an oral appliance enables the wearer to speak and consume fluids when in place.

Dr. Peterson is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and stays informed on the latest research and treatments for sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders. She offers treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Also, we work with patients who need help identifying possible sleep disorders affecting their health and well-being.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that you should take very seriously. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.

What’s the life expectancy of someone with sleep apnea?

When patients develop sleep apnea over 50, their life expectancy is usually between eight and 18 years. Untreated sleep apnea can have a big impact on your quality of life. Exhaustion can make you more likely to get into car accidents, and the lack of sleep can lead to other health problems.

What’s the best sleeping position for sleep apnea?

Sleeping on your side with your back mostly straight is the best sleep position to reduce sleep apnea and snoring. Sleeping on your back is one of the worst positions, as this encourages the soft tissues in your mouth to collapse into your throat, making snoring far worse.

Can I get disability for having sleep apnea?

No, sleep apnea is not considered a disability. You have to meet a certain standard with the Social Security Administration to get disability payments. Depending on how severe your sleep apnea is and its impact on your life, you may be eligible due to some of its symptoms.

Does sleep apnea happen every night?

It may or may not. It all depends on the individual. With moderate sleep apnea, you wake up anywhere within 15-29 times an hour. With severe sleep apnea, you wake up over 30 times an hour. This is extremely detrimental to the quality of your sleep, especially if you experience it every night.

Is sleep apnea permanent?

There’s no complete cure for sleep apnea. However, treatment and lifestyle changes can lessen or eliminate its symptoms. CPAP, oral appliances, yoga, weight loss, and surgery are all things that can alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms. A combination of some of these things is usually the correct answer.

Can treating sleep apnea give me a longer life?

Treating sleep apnea comes with many life improvements. It reduces your risk of premature death by three times, cuts your risk of having a stroke in half, and the chances of experiencing a heart attack by five times. Sleep apnea is extremely detrimental to all aspects of your life, so treatment is important.