SPECIALTY DENTISTRY

Sleep Apnea

If you’re finding yourself feeling drowsy throughout the day for seemingly no reason or waking up breathless in the middle of the night, you may be one of 12 million Americans who are affected by sleep apnea. Because of our commitment to the whole health of our patients, the doctors at Baker and Graham are trained to help treat and manage sleep apnea and its symptoms to get you back to restful nights and energized days.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Since the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it, and many believe they are getting a good night’s sleep when, in fact, they are not. The constant wake-sleep-wake-sleep cycle prevents those with sleep apnea from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.

There are three categories of sleep apnea. The most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and occurs due to a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Less common is central sleep apnea (CSA), in which breathing stops because the muscles involved don’t receive the proper signal from the brain. And some people suffer from “mixed” or “complex” sleep apnea, which is a combination of obstructive and central.

The Process

During your appointment, you and your dentist will discuss the details of the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Your dentist will then apply a thin layer of reflective powder onto your tooth and will use a special 3D imaging camera to take a photo of your tooth. Using CEREC’s proprietary software, your restoration will be designed according to your tooth’s appropriate form and function. Then, CEREC will use diamond burs to create your restoration out of a piece of ceramic. Finally, the ceramic restoration is bonded to your tooth using state-of-the-art adhesive dentistry.

Risk Factors

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and more common in older adults (40+) than younger adults and children. However, anyone — regardless of gender or age — can suffer from sleep apnea. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, drinking, use of sedatives or tranquilizers, and family history. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors.

Symptoms

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea. If you notice one or more of these, contact our practice:

Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
Loud snoring at night
Waking up at night short of breath
Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
Headaches upon waking in the morning
Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
Extreme drowsiness throughout the day

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem and if left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by sleep apnea can lead to problems at work or school, as well as danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medication or surgery; sedation by anesthesia can be risky, as can lying flat in bed after an operation. If you know or suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, let your family doctor know before taking prescribed medication or having surgery.

Treatment

Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral — for instance, patients are instructed to lose weight, stop smoking, or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs. Beyond that, oral devices can be used to position the mouth in such a way that prevents throat blockage. In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option. At Baker and Graham, we are trained to help you not only identify your sleep apnea, but also plan and execute the proper treatment to relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better.

Phone 601-268-3333

Fax 601-268-6666

4216 Lincoln Road

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

Office Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8AM - 5PM
Walk-ins Welcome!
© Baker and Graham 2020                        Website by BREAD
© Baker and Graham 2020
Website by BREAD