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If your bed partner is well aware of your disruptive snoring and they mention you seem to stop breathing, you may have a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You may also feel very sleepy during the day and doze off in a chair watching TV or at a long, boring meeting at work.
You’re tired because your sleep keeps being interrupted and you are showing signs of sleep deprivation. To help you sleep better, call our dental office and ask about an oral appliance for sleep apnea in Philadelphia or continue reading.
How Do I Know If I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your soft palate or tongue partially or fully obstruct your upper airway for 10 seconds or more when you are sleeping. You may make choking or gasping noises until your brain tells your body to wake up. Once you’re awake, the muscles behind the soft palate or those in your tongue flex and you can breathe again. In most cases, you won’t remember waking up. With OSA this can happen anywhere from five to more than 30 times an hour. According to the American Lung Association, between 10 and 30 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from mild, moderate, or severe OSA.
What Are Typical Sleep Apnea Symptoms I Should Pay Attention To?
You should talk to your dentist if you have these symptoms or habits:
- Snoring every night
- Making choking sounds in your sleep
- Having large tonsils
- Smoking, as it inflames your upper airway and constricts it
- Using alcohol before going to bed
- Feeling sleepy all day
- Having trouble concentrating
Are There Any Sleep Apnea Causes I Can Try to Avoid?
The are some OSA risk factors you can avoid, such as smoking. However, others tend to be unavoidable, such as genetics. OSA causes include:
- Being overweight
- Male gender
- Alcohol consumption close to bedtime
- Large neck circumference
What Types of Sleep Apnea in Philadelphia Treatment Will I Find?
If you have mild OSA, you can often relieve your symptoms by losing weight. Losing as little as 10 to 15 pounds can improve your breathing at night. Also try sleeping on your side, not your back. Dentists can provide oral appliances to help keep your airway open. In severe cases, surgery is an option. If you would like to learn more about oral appliance therapy, please contact us to make an appointment with our dentist.
What Is a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard?
A OSA oral appliance, also called a mandibular advancement device, is similar to a sports mouth guard except it moves your tongue and lower jaw forward to keep your airway open. A dental lab can custom make one from a mold our dentist makes of your mouth. The appliance will cover your upper and lower teeth and it will have a hinge for easy movement. It may take a few days to get comfortable wearing the oral appliance. After you’ve worn your oral appliance for a short time, our dentist will check to make sure it is comfortable and working properly.
What Does an Oral Appliance to Treat Sleep Apnea in Philadelphia Cost?
The cost of your custom oral appliance depends on the type of appliance you need and whether you have medical insurance coverage. Call our office for more information about your potential cost for an oral appliance.
What Should I Expect to Pay for a Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece?
The price of a custom mouthpiece varies as your dentist will select the one that meets your unique needs. Having health insurance coverage will also affect the total amount you will pay. If you have questions, please speak with our dentist during your appointment. He or she can explain the cost of your treatment after assessing your needs.
What Benefits Does Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment (OAT) Offer?
One benefit is compliance. CPAP machines, which force air up your nose to keep your airway open, are effective at treating OSA, but some patients stop using the machine. It can be uncomfortable, noisy and it isn’t easily portable. Compliance is much higher with oral appliances. It only takes a few days to become comfortable wearing one. Anyone who has ever worn a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer can tell you they are easy to get used to and the benefits are worthwhile.
Will Insurance Cover an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?
Dental insurance does not cover treatment for OSA, but medical insurance often does. Check with your health insurance company to see if they cover oral appliance therapy. We can submit a claim on your behalf.