Most of us snore. Some of us snore louder than others. But did you know that snoring is often indicative of a serious sleep disorder? Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when there are pauses in your breathing while you sleep. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but pauses can last from mere seconds to minutes, and this can have very negative effects on your health. Luckily, Klooster Family Dentistry can help.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most serious form of sleep apnea and is characterized by a collapse of the airway while you sleep. This prevents you from breathing for periods of time, and it can take up to 15 years off of your life expectancy. For comparison, smoking is widely regarded as a drastically negative habit—and it only takes an estimated 10 years off of your life!
How Can Klooster Family Dentistry Help?
At Klooster Family Dentistry, we offer Dental Sleep Therapy. Though the most severe cases of OSA will require the use of Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP), we offer Oral Sleep Appliance Therapy for patients with mild to moderate OSA. At night, the dental appliance will align your jaw so that your airway is unobstructed, allowing your breathing to be continuous and your snoring to quieten or cease altogether. In the morning, you may need to wear a re-positioner for 15 to 30 minutes in order to reset your bite. But that’s a small price to pay for 15 more years on your life!
How Do I Know if I Need Sleep Therapy?
If you suspect that you have OSA, there are a few different ways to diagnose you for certain. The most intense is to undergo a polysomnography (otherwise known as a sleep study). Performed in the lab, this study can affect your schedule and may cost more than you are willing to pay. On the other hand, a Home Sleep Study is often much cheaper and can be performed in your own home. You record the data, and that data is then analyzed to determine if you have OSA.