Not many dentists address sleep apnea, but this is an issue that is often treatable or greatly improved by an oral appliance. Sleep apnea can affect far more of your life than you might realize—even down to hair and nail growth. It increases risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, gut, heart and reproductive health, and can even contribute to erectile dysfunction. Partners are usually the first to notice the signs. Sleep apnea is a very prevalent, yet treatable disease.
Did you know that a CPAP machine doesn’t actually help your body get the oxygen it needs? It only sends moist air down the throat to open the airway. An oral appliance, or small mouthpiece, is a therapy solution that can greatly improve mild or moderate cases of sleep apnea.
Some issues we can address include:
Hypopnea, pre-apneas where 30% of airflow is present along with ten seconds of reduced breath.
Obstructive apneas, where there is no airflow at all for at least ten seconds.
Central apneas, where the brain doesn’t tell the body to breathe. This is especially alarming, as it’s like breathing everything out and then holding your breath.
Did you know…?
30-60% of the population has sleep apnea.
60-80% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed.
1 in 4 people with heart disease or high blood pressure have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea exacerbates these issues.
1 in 2 people with depression have sleep apnea.
7 out of 10 diabetics have sleep apnea.
We have a home sleep test that consists of a small box that straps around your chest, a pulse oximeter for your hand, and a small nasal cannula which measures your breath rate. This means you don’t have to sleep in a lab with people watching you! You can do this test in the comfort of your own home, and test completion only requires three to four hours of sleep, so you don’t need to stress about getting a full eight hours. The results are sent to a sleep specialist for an official diagnosis.
We can test you according to the AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index). Insurance typically covers mild to moderate treatment.
A snorting AHI of 4.9 or less is unfortunately not registered as sleep apnea, even though you are having breathing/airway issues.
Dr. Scammahorn was the first to receive the home test. He was diagnosed with an AHI of 18, mostly hypopneas. He has firsthand experience with sleep apnea, and this is why he is so passionate about helping people with their sleep and overall health.
If you already have a CPAP machine, we can help determine if you could use an oral appliance instead, giving you more comfort and less noise when trying to sleep. We can also help with CPAP intolerance.
Most studies show that the CPAP is still the gold standard, taking people from severe to mild on the AHI index. Whether you use a CPAP or an oral appliance, these treatments are lifesavers. We have seen high blood pressures drop, and A1C’s balance out. Better sleep means better recovery and healing. We want to make you healthier as a person, and that starts with a fully functioning body.
We are here for you! Call us today for more information and to schedule your appointment.