Sleep Apnea Therapy – Greenfield, MA
An Effective Way to Breathe Easier and Rest Better
Are you waking multiple times each night? Do you experience chronic fatigue? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a condition that will find you unable to breathe freely while you sleep because of an obstruction in your airway. This common sleep disorder affects millions of Americans, many of whom do not know they have it. If left untreated, the side effects can worsen and lead to heart attack, stroke, depression, or even death. Fortunately, at BGH Dental, our team can help you start breathing easier and achieving the rest you need with oral appliance therapy. If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea therapy, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly-qualified dental professionals.
Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea. The most common is OSA, and it occurs when an individual ceases breathing for 10 seconds or more. This happens because the soft tissues in the mouth and throat collapse and cause a blockage, making it difficult for oxygen to flow freely through the airway.
An individual’s inability to breathe while sleeping can cause one or even hundreds of interruptions each night. As the body and brain struggle to receive the adequate oxygen they need to function normally, a person’s blood pressure can rise and lower multiple times, resulting in a strain on the heart. Should this process continue without proper treatment, an individual can be faced with a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even death.
Although sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, it is most often found in people who are over the age of 55. Men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, and those who smoke or are obese are at a higher risk. But with the rise in childhood obesity, younger people are also beginning to experience the symptoms most closely identified with OSA.
What are the Symptoms Associated with Sleep Apnea?
The symptoms associated with sleep apnea are not always easy to pinpoint, especially if you do not have someone who can tell you if you are snoring or having trouble breathing while asleep. But other signs can be indicators that you are suffering from sleep apnea. These include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- High blood pressure
- Irritability, moodiness
- Morning headaches
- Chronic fatigue, no matter how many hours you slept
- Dry mouth in the morning or sore throat
- Gasping for air throughout the night or experiencing a choking sensation
- Loss of libido
Should you or your partner begin to notice any of the signs associated with sleep apnea, it is best to seek the help of a professional who can recommend a sleep study. Once you receive a formal diagnosis, you can begin treatment with a sleep apnea dentist in Greenfield.
Oral Appliance Therapy: The Vivos® System
Unlike a traditional CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device that is often bulky, difficult to maneuver, and uncomfortable to wear, oral appliance therapy offers a more user-friendly and comfortable approach.
At BGH Dental, we use the Vivos® System. Not only is it simple and easy to use, but it offers individuals a more manageable method of treatment. Most patients feel the effects of treatment within the first few days or weeks. During treatment, periodic adjustments to your appliance are made by your dentist. The dental professionals at BGH Dental will keep you breathing easily as you dream the night away.
Has Your Philips CPAP Device Been Recalled?
4 million ventilation and sleep apnea devices by Royal Philips NV dba Philips have been recalled due to cancer concerns. An estimated 5,000 people suffering from sleep apnea across Western Massachusetts have been left to find answers. Dr. Bagley has launched an initiative to provide patients with “no cost” consultations and personalized solutions on how best to handle the impact of the Philips recall. Please request an appointment online or call our hotline at (413) 287-7841
Sleep Apnea FAQs
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you’re sure to have several questions about the road ahead. At BGH Dental, we know it’s a life-changing diagnosis, but it doesn’t have to affect your well-being with the correct sleep apnea treatment in Greenfield. Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions our patients ask us about the sleep disorder.
Does snoring always indicate sleep apnea?
No, snoring doesn’t always mean you have sleep apnea; however, the two often go hand in hand. Everyone snores occasionally, such as from nasal congestion. Although it might bother your spouse or roommates, it generally isn’t concerning. If snoring becomes chronic or excessively loud, it can be a symptom of sleep apnea. Snoring occurs as air passes over the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat. The vibrations can intensify in sleep apnea patients because of obstructions in the airway.
Is obstructive sleep apnea dangerous?
Without the proper treatment, sleep apnea has potentially deadly complications. The frequent pauses in breathing repeatedly deplete your oxygen levels, which strain your body. You’ll have an increased risk of serious health issues, like cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, your sleep cycle is interrupted. Poor sleep quality can lead to depression and excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep deprivation is a common concern of untreated sleep apnea. It’s linked to significantly increasing your risk of workplace and auto accidents.
Is an oral appliance effective?
A CPAP is a tried-and-proven solution to treat sleep apnea, but many patients prefer an oral appliance. When used correctly, it can improve sleep apnea symptoms by up to 90% when used for mild-to-moderate cases. Oral appliance therapy also has a higher compliance rate than a CPAP because it’s comfortable and convenient. As a result, patients are more likely to commit to their treatment plan long-term to safeguard their health and wellness.
Why do I need to see a dentist for sleep apnea therapy?
Sleep apnea is categorized as a medical condition; however, dentists play a crucial role in managing the disorder. An oral appliance is a custom-made device, which requires the skills and qualifications of an experienced sleep dentist to create. Besides earning her dental degree, Dr. Bagley has completed additional training in sleep dentistry to provide personalized, effective solutions with oral appliance therapy.
Are there any risks with oral appliance therapy?
Any sleep apnea treatment is safer than leaving the condition untreated; however, there’s no reason to worry about side effects with oral appliance therapy. Initially, some patients report jaw or tooth discomfort, excessive salivation, or dry mouth. Patients with an existing TMJ disorder may notice changes in their symptoms. Thankfully, the annoyances don’t last for too long. They will resolve within a week or two as your mouth and body adapt to sleeping with the oral appliance. Our office uses the Vivos® System, which is carefully crafted from comfortable materials to transition to a better night’s sleep. You’ll need periodic adjustments to ensure your appliance continues to fit and function well.