Loud snoring or waking up in the middle of the night with shortness of breath may be more than simply an inconvenience to you and your loved ones. Severe snoring or absence of breath during sleep is often an indication of obstructive sleep apnea. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health risks. In addition, since many of the symptoms are only observable while the person is asleep, many people with sleep apnea are unaware that they have the condition.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, please schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists today. For qualified candidates, we offer effective sleep apnea treatment with the Silent Nite® sl oral appliance.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea affects millions of men and women, and this health condition is typically the result of the soft tissues of the throat becoming overly relaxed during sleep. Loud snoring, choking, or gasping for air during sleep are frequently the first indicators of sleep apnea. The pauses of breath that occur during sleep can last ten seconds or longer, causing the brain to become deprived of oxygen. The risks associated with sleep apnea can be very serious, and receiving a proper diagnosis can be essential for remaining in good health.
What Are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?
Since sleep apnea can be difficult to properly diagnose, many patients with sleep apnea are unaware they are at risk for serious health conditions such as:
- Acid reflux
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Heart disease
- Sudden cardiac death
Identifying the symptoms of sleep apnea and receiving a proper diagnosis from a physician are the first steps toward achieving a better night’s sleep and living a full, healthy life.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
While loud snoring and shortness of breath during sleep are the primary symptoms of sleep apnea, there are many other observable signs that may initially seem unrelated. These symptoms may include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Headaches in the morning
- High stress or anxiety
- Mood Swings
- Short-term memory loss
- Grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep
Oftentimes, a loved one alerts the person with sleep apnea of these symptoms. A sleep study can then be conducted to receive a proper diagnosis. In many cases, these sleep studies may now be performed in the home, allowing the physician to review the results afterward and avoiding the need for an overnight stay in a lab. With effective treatment for sleep apnea, these symptoms can be greatly reduced or resolve altogether.
Sleep Apnea Treatment with the Silent Nite® sl Oral Appliance
Our dentists use the Silent Nite® sl oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. This prescription device consists of two flexible plastic trays that fit comfortably over the teeth and are worn by the patient at night during sleep. The Silent Nite® sl can keep the jaw properly aligned and improve airflow through the mouth, throat, and nasal passages. During your first appointment, one of our dentists will take an impression of your teeth and send them to a lab to manufacture your custom oral appliance. The Silent Nite® sl is then sent to our office, and the patient can return for a fitting to ensure maximum comfort. This oral appliance is easy to wear and can significantly reduce or eliminate the symptoms and risks associated with sleep apnea.
How Much Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Cost?
According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, the average cost for an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea is $826 and some dentists in the United States may charge as much as $1200. Furthermore, the cost of an oral appliance is often not covered by insurance providers. Fortunately, the experienced, highly credentialed dentists at our dental practice in Los Algodones, are able to provide The Silent Nite® sl oral appliance for $550. To learn more about the price of sleep apnea treatment or schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.