Sleep Apnea Treatment
With our focus on oral health, it should not be surprising that the dentists at Greenwich Dental Group are trained in technologies to treat the mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that results from obstructions to a person’s airway. After all, making sure all the parts of a patient’s mouth are in optimal working order is at the heart of what we do.
OSA occurs when a person’s airway temporarily collapses during sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for up to ten seconds and longer. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Such events can occur several hundred times a night, making normal sleep patterns all but impossible.
People with OSA commonly suffer from low oxygen levels in the blood, high blood pressure, headaches, and persistent daytime drowsiness that can severely impact their quality of life. The condition is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, arrhythmias, and some cancers.
Predictably, such a severe sleep disorder and its associated health issues often place a strain on relationships and lead to performance challenges in the workplace.
At Greenwich Dental Group, we employ an oral appliance that is fitted and worn much like a retainer or sport mouthguard to passively keep an airway open during sleep. This therapy is usually well tolerated by our patients who suffer from mild to moderate OSA. (For more severe cases, we maintain close relationships for referral to sleep medicine centers in the region.)
The device generally works best for patients who experience OSA mostly in the supine position (sleeping on the back), and for those who have weight and large neck issues.
We also partner with Watermark Medical to offer a home sleep testing and monitoring device known as ARES, which has shown a 96% efficacy rate for all patients in diagnosing sleep apnea. The ARES device records data that are automatically sent to specialist sleep doctors to correctly diagnose irregularities that may require treatment.
Sleep apnea treatment is just one more example of how maintaining your oral health has broad and lasting benefits for your overall health and well-being.