Sleep Apnea—Dunwoody, GA
Stop Snoring & Overcome Sleep Apnea
Do you snore throughout the night? Have you often woken up after a full night’s sleep feeling as if you haven’t rested at all? Like most people, you probably think about snoring as merely an annoyance. You’re right; it is unwelcome, often causing a snorer’s bed partner frustration and sleep loss. But, did you know that snoring could be a sign of a serious disorder called sleep apnea?
More than just a nuisance, sleep apnea can aggravate many health problems and cause a wide variety of additional ones. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but if you are concerned that you might be at risk, consider undergoing a sleep study evaluation. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, conservative and effective treatments are available. Dr. Jeff Rodgers offers comfortable, custom-made oral appliances to treat those with sleep apnea at his Dunwoody dental practice.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-breathing condition that occurs when a patient’s airway is periodically restricted during the night. There are many possible causes for this blockage, including an improper jaw position during sleep, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or an excessive relaxation of the throat muscles. Whatever the cause, the effect is that those with sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time. When this happens, the brain signals the sleeper to awaken, and he or she will do so abruptly, but usually not enough to remember the episode by the morning. This can literally happen hundreds of times a night! Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to daytime drowsiness, short-term memory loss, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and many other chronic health issues.
Common Symptoms of OSA
Some of the telltale signs of obstructive sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring every single night
- Persistent daytime exhaustion despite getting 7-9 hours of rest
- Waking up choking or feeling out of breath
- Frequent sore throats or headaches in the morning
- Depression/mood swings
- Problems with memory & focus
- Weight gain/losing weight
- Lowered libido/sexual dysfunction
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated?
Traditionally, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine is prescribed for people diagnosed with sleep apnea. While this device is effective if used properly, its bulk and accompanying facemask often prove too unwieldy or uncomfortable for the average patient.
Dr. Rodgers can provide an alternative treatment using an oral appliance that a sleep apnea patient wears to bed. This custom-fabricated appliance will ensure proper jaw and tongue position and keep the airway open throughout the night. If you have sleep apnea, an oral appliance could restore the deep, uninterrupted REM sleep you may have been living without.
Our Oral Appliances
Every sleep appliance provided by Dr. Rodgers is custom-made for each patient to provide a comfortable fit and effective treatment. Depending on a patient’s needs, he’ll recommend one of the following types:
The Herbst is a lightweight, flexible, and durable appliance that consists of small, telescoping metal arms that slightly reposition a patient’s jaw. In addition to helping with snoring and sleep apnea, Herbst appliances can also prevent unconscious teeth grinding during sleep, called bruxism. This common condition can be a cause as well as a result of sleep apnea, which means treating it can protect a patient’s teeth and their rest.
The Micro 2 appliance is made of a high-quality plastic material that helps it fit easily in the mouth without causing irritation to the gums and lips. It is adjustable and can be calibrated according to a patient’s preferences to create the perfect fit.
Your CPAP Alternative
As we touched on above, many patients who are currently treating their sleep apnea with a CPAP machine are unhappy with it because it can be so uncomfortable. This causes many to forgo treatment altogether. If your CPAP seems to cause more problems than it solves, Dr. Jeff Rodgers can work with your sleep doctor to help you figure out if an oral appliance could be used instead. Because oral appliances are small, silent, and don’t force air down the throat, many patients find them much easier to use. For severe cases of OSA, a special appliance can even be designed to work in tandem with a CPAP, providing what is called combined therapy.
Get Answers & Sleep Better
Don’t ignore the signs of sleep apnea! Getting diagnosed and treated is easier than you might think. To start the process, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rodgers. If needed, he can refer you to a sleep lab and provide a custom oral appliance that will allow you to sleep deeply and without interruption. If you’re ready to finally get the rest that you need, be sure to contact us today!
If you would like to learn more about the causes of sleep apnea as well as your treatment options, we recommend visiting Dr. Rogers’ dedicated sleep site, Sleep Better Georgia. There, you can take a sleep quiz that will reveal your risk for sleep apnea and even schedule a FREE consult.