Sleep Apnea Treatment in Birmingham, MI
Get A Better Night’s Sleep With Dr. Stone
Sleep apnea affects around 25 million adults in the United States. It occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, causing them to stop breathing repeatedly. These lapses can happen hundreds of times per night, often for 10 seconds or longer each time.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Fortunately, effective sleep apnea treatment is available. At Premier Birmingham Dentistry, Dr. Jay Stone and his team can create customized oral appliances to help reduce instances of sleep apnea without continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines or surgical intervention.
Explore our sleep apnea devices and schedule your consultation by calling (248) 644-8520 today!
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much during sleep, causing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. The brain senses the lack of oxygen and briefly wakes the person up so they reflexively gasp for air and reopen their airway.
These brief awakenings are often so quick that the person doesn’t remember them. But they prevent the person from getting restful, deep REM sleep.
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea caused by a throat or airway blockage.
- Central Sleep Apnea: The brain doesn’t properly signal the muscles that control breathing, causing an airway collapse.
- Complex Sleep Apnea: A combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea events.
Risk Factors for Developing Sleep Apnea
- Age 40 or older
- Chronic nasal congestion
- A family history of sleep apnea
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it’s best to get diagnosed by a sleep specialist. They can perform tests like an overnight sleep study to monitor your breathing patterns, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and brain activity during sleep to determine the cause before treating sleep apnea with custom sleep apnea appliances.
Why Treating Sleep Apnea Matters
Leaving sleep disorders like sleep apnea untreated is linked to many dangers. Potential complications include:
- Heart Problems: When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, it can strain the heart, leading to a risk of high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and heart failure.
- Diabetes: Interruptions to deep sleep prevent the body from regulating blood sugar.
- Stroke: People with obstructive sleep apnea have double to triple the risk of stroke compared to the general population.
- Cognitive Problems: Fragmented sleep impairs focus, memory consolidation, and decision-making ability.
- Depression: The fatigue and impairment caused by sleep apnea often trigger or worsen depressive disorder.
- Headaches: Fluctuating oxygen levels during the night can cause morning headaches.
Oral Appliance Therapy For Sleep Apnea Treatment
Custom oral sleep appliances are commonly prescribed by Dr. Stone for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Worn only during sleep, these mouthguard-like devices gently reposition the lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate to open the airway. This opening prevents sleep apnea by stopping the throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing breathing.
Oral appliances are convenient, non-invasive, quiet, and portable. They don’t require surgery or affect appearance. Studies show these sleep apnea devices can significantly reduce AHI scores and symptoms related to obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Stone handles the oral appliance therapy process from start to finish, including any necessary adjustments for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Sleep Apnea
Along with your oral appliance, Dr. Stone can guide you on beneficial daytime habits and sleep hygiene steps to reduce instances of obstructive sleep apnea. These lifestyle changes can include:
- Losing excess weight
- Doing regular cardio and muscle-strengthening exercise
- Avoiding alcohol before bedtime
- Quitting smoking
- Trying nasal strips or spray to reduce congestion
- Sleeping on your side instead of your back
- Keeping the head elevated with extra pillows
Frequently Asked Questions
Many medical insurance plans cover a portion or all of the cost of treating sleep apnea, as it’s considered a medically necessary therapy. Contact your insurance provider to verify your coverage and ask about out-of-pocket costs beforehand.
Many patients notice significant relief from daytime drowsiness, snoring, and other symptoms within the first few weeks of treating obstructive sleep apnea with consistent oral appliance use. The full effects may take up to three months to maximize as the jaw muscles adapt to the repositioning. Adhering to consistent use and follow-up adjustments is crucial.
Consistent, lifelong nightly oral appliance use is best for optimum sleep apnea control. Symptoms usually return if you stop.
Some people may be able to phase to part-time oral appliance use under doctor supervision, but sleep apnea treatment usually remains necessary long-term due to the chronic nature of the disorder.
If you have symptoms like chronic loud snoring, gasping awake, morning headaches, or exhaustion despite adequate sleep, see your primary physician first. They can refer you for a sleep disorder study to confirm if you have sleep apnea based on your breathing patterns and oxygen levels overnight.
Discover Your Best Night’s Rest at Premier Birmingham Dentistry
Don’t let sleep apnea negatively impact your sleep quality and health any longer. With Dr. Stone’s skilled approach, you can start gaining restful nights and healthier days again soon.
If you or your sleep partner have noticed signs of sleep apnea, take action by booking a consultation with Dr. Jay Stone at Premier Birmingham Dentistry. Call (248) 530-3900 or request an appointment online. We look forward to meeting new and returning patients from the Birmingham area, including Clawson, Beverly Hills, and Franklin, MI.