As Father’s Day (June 17) approaches, you’d do anything for Dad. (Actually, we bet that’s true any time of the year.) How about saving his life? Not to get all dramatic, but if your family patriarch has untreated sleep apnea, getting him a sleep apnea solution really could save his life.
If you suspect dad has sleep apnea, schedule an appointment for him to visit Dr. Kerbel at our East Dallas, TX dentist office. We work closely with a sleep specialist to get dad a formal sleep apnea diagnosis, if needed. And we can create a customized oral appliance for him that will keep his airway clear as he sleeps. He’ll rest easier – and so will you, knowing that his overall health will improve.
Call Gregory Allen Kerbel, DDS at 972-360-9944 to make arrangements for dad’s visit.
Unknown Risks of Sleep Apnea
Because apnea disrupts your rest, it can make dad sleepy while driving or performing other tasks during the day. Studies of long-distance truck drivers have even linked untreated sleep apnea to a higher percentage of traffic accidents.
As if that isn’t scary enough, research has linked apnea to a host of conditions, some of them quite serious. Health issues linked to sleep apnea include:
- Irregular heartbeats
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
Pay Attention to Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when your tongue or other soft muscles relax while you’re sleeping and block your airway. Your air flow is interrupted – sometimes as many as hundreds of times a night. The oxygen level in your blood drops, and your body reacts by partially or completely awakening. Sleep apnea sufferers sometimes wake gasping for breath, which can be quite unnerving for a bed partner.
Because of these frequent interruptions, your body doesn’t get the deep sleep it needs to function properly. Not surprisingly, forgetfulness and difficulty focusing when awake are among common sleep apnea symptoms.
- Chronic loud snoring
- Regularly waking with a dry or sore throat
- Frequent instances of insomnia
- Waking with a headache
Oral Appliance Therapy Is Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Two sleep apnea treatments are an oral appliance and a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. Unless it’s clear you have severe apnea, we recommend trying an appliance first. It usually costs less, plus most people have less trouble adjusting to an appliance than to a CPAP.
The oral appliance works by gently moving your jaw forward into a position that keeps your airway clear as you sleep. A CPAP machine keeps your airway open with a constant flow of pressurized air delivered through a mask worn over your face.
We offer two different types of oral appliance, both of which we make in our East Dallas, TX dentist office using impressions of your mouth and other measurements to ensure a comfortable fit. Both also allow you to make fit adjustments yourself, for comfort and optimal performance. About 70 percent of our sleep apnea patients find relief with an appliance.
The appliance offers many advantages, when compared to a CPAP. They include:
- Less invasive. It doesn’t cover your face, and you won’t get tangled in plastic tubing even if you toss and turn in your sleep.
- More comfortable. Breathing forced air can sometimes leave you with a dry throat and/or nose in the morning. You won’t experience that with an appliance!
- More convenient. Because an appliance easily fits into a purse or pocket, it’s no trouble to transport for travel. With no need for an electrical outlet or batteries, you can use it anywhere, even a tent in the middle of “nowhere.”