Despite the fact that millions of Americans, including many of our Cincinnati-area patients, live with sleep apnea, some sufferers fail to realize that a family dentist consultation can illuminate a fresh approach to treating the condition.
At Hardin Advanced Dentistry, Cincinnati dentists Dr. Gary Hardin and Dr. Tara Hardin can help treat sleep apnea as well as snoring with a customized, acrylic oral appliance called a SomnoDent® nightguard. If you suffer from sleep apnea and want to find out more about whether this might be a solution, call us today at (513) 234-5531.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
How do you know whether you suffer from sleep apnea, which is characterized by prolonged breathing pauses while you sleep? These pauses can last up to several minutes and can happen dozens of times a night. If you have yet to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, it may help to know its most common symptoms. They are:
- Morning headaches
- Chronic daytime sleepiness
- Impaired concentration
When left untreated, complications related to sleep apnea may include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart arrhythmias
One challenge to diagnosing sleep apnea is that its symptoms are commonly associated with other health conditions. For that reason, we might refer patients to their family physician in order to confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
In addition to symptoms, a physician will take into consideration the following contributing factors:
- A small or receding jaw
- Age-related jaw muscle deterioration
- Swollen tonsils
There are different types of sleep apnea -- namely central sleep apnea (CSA), obstructive sleep spnea (OSA), or a combination of the two. Patients who suffer from less severe cases of the condition can successfully treat it without resorting to a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP.
A SomnoDent® nightguard counters sleep apnea by keeping your mouth open and your tongue in a healthy position as you sleep. Patients who use the SomnoDent® guard in conjunction with such lifestyle changes as weight loss and smoking cessation should experience a marked improvement in their condition.
At Hardin Advanced Dentistry, we keep up with the latest advances in treating sleep apnea and snoring through our membership in the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).
Drs. Tara and Gary Hardin are well-versed in treating sleep apnea, regardless of whether you have lived with it for years or are just beginning to address this potentially-dangerous health condition. Please contact Hardin Advanced Dentistry online today or call (513) 234-5531 for your sleep apnea appointment. We proudly serve patients in Mason, Dayton, and the Greater Cincinnati area, as well as Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky.