Is snoring a sign that I have sleep apnea? Snoring loudly while sleeping is a common sign of sleep apnea. If you snore loudly, it is a good idea to get screened for sleep apnea, a medical condition that can be life-threatening and should be addressed by a medical doctor. Sleep apnea and snoring could be the underlying symptoms of a few dental concerns Dr. Heather Adams can diagnose and treat in Rogers, AR.
Signs of Sleep Apnea in Rogers, AR
Dr. Heather Adams is passionate about helping her patients experience the life-changing benefits of functional breathing. Evaluation and treatment for sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea include:
- Soft and Hard tissue dental exam
- Airway evaluation
- In-home sleep screening tests
- Oral appliance solutions
- Airway-positive focused orthodontics
Dr. Adams has advanced training in the screening process. She can determine if patients require further testing to diagnose and/or treat sleep apnea or sleep-disturbed breathing (snoring and/or sleep apnea). Dr Adams is a student of the SPEAR Institute for post-graduate studies in dentistry. She has taken continuing education courses on spotting the oral signs of sleep apnea.
We encourage patients to discuss their lifestyle habits and sleep concerns with Dr. Adams. Visiting Dr. Adams will allow for early sleep apnea intervention and treatment.
Signs you may have sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating and irritability
- Waking gasping for air
- High blood pressure
Sleep Apnea & Your Wellness
Proper sleep allows your mind and body to refresh and heal. During sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally drop. Sleep apnea can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and may make it difficult to live a productive, fulfilling life. Often, sleep apnea impacts your dental and systemic health.
Patients who have sleep apnea are more prone to heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure. If patients already have diabetes or suffer from certain types of heart disease, they can also be at greater risk for sleep apnea. A lack of oxygen stresses the heart, making it harder to pump blood. Sleep apnea increases heart rates and blood pressure. This condition doesn’t allow the heart to rest.
Anyone could develop sleep apnea, even at a young age. However, the majority of patients with sleep apnea are often over the age of 40, have a large neck circumference, are overweight, and are predominately male. Women can also develop sleep apnea and should also be tested.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Dr. Heather Adams offers oral sleep appliance therapy, an alternative to the CPAP, for discreet and effective sleep apnea treatment. The custom oral sleep appliance is designed to open the airway during sleep. This allows the patient to breathe freely. Wearing an oral sleep appliance can help patients get a whole night of good sleep. Patients can wake up refreshed and better equipped to manage their daily responsibilities.
A sleep apnea oral appliance covers the upper and lower teeth and is similar to a mouthguard or retainer. The device brings the lower jaw forward to prevent soft tissue collapse.
Dr. Adams will take dental impressions to ensure that the oral appliance fits over your teeth. After she takes these impressions, she sends them to a dental lab. Technicians create the sleep apnea oral device to her specifications.
Choosing Oral Appliances Over CPAP Machines
Many patients diagnosed with sleep apnea may dread using a CPAP machine. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are loud, bulky, and uncomfortable. CPAP machines require wearing a mask or a nosepiece. The machine also makes loud noises while supplying pressurized air through the mask. Sometimes, sleep apnea patients need to use a CPAP machine to address their symptoms.
However, if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may not need a CPAP machine. A sleep apnea oral appliance is portable, silent, and more comfortable than a CPAP. The oral appliance keeps soft tissues and the tongue out of the airway. Patients can breathe comfortably with an open airway wearing an oral device. Sleep apnea oral appliances are simple to care for and convenient.
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Learn more about sleep apnea with answers to these common questions from patients:
Are there risk factors for sleep apnea?
The risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Having a large neck circumference
- Being male
- Having a family history of sleep apnea
- Being born with a narrow airway
- Regularly consuming alcohol
- Smoking or using tobacco products
While patients cannot avoid some of these risk factors, many are changeable. The best way to prevent sleep apnea from developing is to take good care of your overall health. You can do this by maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding tobacco as well as excessive alcohol consumption.
How will I know if my oral sleep appliance is working?
There are several ways you will be able to tell if your oral sleep device is working. The most obvious way is for your partner to notice you have stopped snoring and/or gasping while sleeping. If you sleep alone, you may notice you wake up feeling well-rested. You may also see that you are sleeping throughout the entire night and wake up without a headache or dry mouth. All of these are signs your device is working.
What are the side effects of using an oral sleep device?
The most common side effect of using an oral sleep appliance is waking up with a sore jaw. The device will push your lower jaw out, which leads to minor discomfort for some.
Most people report that the soreness wears off shortly after waking up. Having an increased production of saliva and bite changes have also been reported but are much less common. Compared to a CPAP machine, an oral sleep device has a higher compliance rate.
Treat Sleep Apnea Today
If you snore or often wake up with headaches, contact Dr. Heather Adams for sleep apnea treatment in Rogers, AR, at (479) 323-3011. You may also schedule an appointment online. Learn more about how sleep apnea therapy can help you get a better night’s sleep.