Sleep disorders can be more than just an interrupted night’s sleep- they can also compromise overall health and put sufferers at increased risk for a variety of concerns including cardiovascular disease and stroke. In addition to providing solutions for a plethora of dental concerns, we provide sleep apnea treatment to patients in Greeley Colorado.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
The first step in seeking treatment for sleep apnea is receiving a diagnosis. This involves being observed by a sleep specialist during an overnight sleep study. The sleep specialist will closely monitor your vitals and breathing patterns. If you are diagnosed with this sleep disorder, Dr. Rinker will evaluate the data to determine the cause(s) of your sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep apnea can be frightening if you do not understand what is going on. Patients who suffer from this sleep disorder will repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. The airway becomes blocked when the muscles and soft tissues in the back of the throat completely relax and then collapse.
Many of our patients with obstructive sleep apnea also clench and grind their teeth – classic symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This can cause soreness or pain in the jaw, and worn, cracked teeth. Dr. Rinker also specializes in the treatment for TMJ disorders, and some sleep apnea treatments are effective at treating teeth grinding and clenching.
Central sleep apnea occurs when the nervous system is unable to send clear messages to the body, prompting proper breathing. Dr. Rinker will recommend you to a specialist if your symptoms indicate that you suffer from central sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Feeling tired even after a full night’s rest
- Physical fatigue
- Waking in the night gasping for air
- Restlessness in bed
- Forgetfulness or trouble concentrating
It is very important that you receive a diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. Doing so will reduce the risk of additional health problems and restore a better quality of life.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Greeley, CO
Appropriate treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is dependent on a patient’s lifestyle, symptoms, and the severity of their condition. For patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be recommended, including:
- Quitting smoking
- Quitting or reducing consumption of alcohol, especially before bedtime
- Losing weight
- Changing sleeping position
In many cases, a custom oral appliance may provide relief from symptoms and prevent possible health complications from sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy can be very effective for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
A crooked bite or misaligned jaw can also contribute to airway obstruction. For these patients, Dr. Rinker will offer treatment to correct the bite.
For patients with more severe sleep apnea, mechanical treatment methods or surgery may be necessary. Dr. Rinker may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, a device that delivers oxygen-rich air through the mouth or nose during sleep.