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Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have been told that you snore excessively, or if you are experiencing constant drowsiness and daytime irritability, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Dr. Craig Hine offers nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea at his Bixby, OK, dental practice to help you have a better night’s sleep. At Hine Dental, we provide customized night guards that can be worn to help keep your airways open at night, allowing you to breathe comfortably and achieve quality rest.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when your soft palate, uvula, tongue, tonsils, and throat muscles collapse while you sleep. When this happens, it narrows your air passageway and prevents adequate breathing, causing you to gasp for air and briefly awaken at different times throughout the night. Most sufferers do not remember these awakenings. Instead, they wake up feeling exhausted in spite of what they believe was a full night’s sleep.
When sleep apnea is left untreated, it can begin to affect your daily life. Excessive daytime fatigue may eventually affect your job, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Meanwhile, as your throat muscles relax through the night, your jaw may clench in an attempt to prevent this from happening. Over time, this can lead to bruxism (jaw clenching and teeth grinding) and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Other serious health conditions that could develop include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
You may face an increased risk of developing sleep apnea if you:
- Are male
- Are overweight
- Have a family member with sleep apnea
- Smoke or drink heavily
- Are over the age of 60
- Have a large neck circumference or narrow nasal passageways
Treating sleep apnea can help you experience a better night’s sleep, give you more energy, and improve your health.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
A custom splint can help keep airways open at night, allowing you to experience restful sleep.
- Chronic exhaustion
- Dry or sore throat, especially in the mornings
- Trouble focusing and concentrating
- Anxiety or depression
- Frequent headaches
Customized Sleep Apnea Treatment
Treating sleep apnea can help you experience a better night’s sleep, give you more energy, and improve your health. Dr. Hine can provide you with a customized oral appliance to be worn at night. These night guards fit comfortably over your teeth, much like Invisalign® trays, and are designed to keep your lower jaw positioned in a way that prevents blockage of the airways.
For moderate to severe cases, Dr. Hine may recommend that you visit a sleep specialist who can provide you with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This involves wearing a mask over your nose and mouth that pumps pressurized air through your passageways to help you breath easier and more effectively. If oral appliances and CPAP machinery do not work for you, surgery may be recommended.