Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pinehurst

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night due to a muscular collapse in the airways. When breathing is impaired for periods of around 10 seconds, the person will gasp for air, resulting in choking sounds or snorts as the person fights to resume breathing.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pinehurst

Side effects of obstructive sleep apnea include, but are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Increased risk for diabetes
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Death

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is not limited to adults. Pediatric OSA is also a serious sleep disorder in which the child stops and starts breathing during sleep. Pediatric OSA can be found in children as early as 2 years of age!

Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be classified into three levels of severity:

  • Mild OSA. 5-14 episodes of interruption in breathing in an hour
  • Moderate OSA. 15-30 episodes of interruption in breathing in an hour
  • Severe OSA. 30 or more episodes of interruption in breathing in an hour

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pinehurst

Signs and Symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Nighttime sweating
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Abrupt awakenings with accompanying gasping or choking
  • Decreased libido
  • High Blood pressure
  • Experiencing mood changes, depression, and irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek consultation with a medical provider to see if you are a proper candidate for OSA therapy.

What are the Risk Factors for Developing OSA?

Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea. Certain factors put you at an increased risk, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Narrowed airway
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Asthma

What Do We Offer for OSA Treatments at Smiles in the Pines?

Dr. Streets is trained through the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine to help her patients seek proper medical diagnosis. Before any treatment options can be determined, a sleep study must be performed to determine the severity of symptoms. While continuous airway pressure (CPAP) devices are the most common form of therapy, for mild to moderate sleep apnea, a dental device is often recommended therapy. Dental devices may also be recommended by the provider to be worn along with a CPAP device to help lower high pressure needs of the CPAP device in severe OSA patients.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pinehurst

Dr. Streets specializes in fabricating Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) that look very similar to mouthguards or orthodontic retainers. MADs work by pushing the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward in a position that is still comfortable for the patient. This helps prevent throat muscles from collapsing back into the airway, allowing for normal breathing. Most MADs are adjustable, and allow for frequent fine-tuning to maximise effectiveness throughout your continued treatment.

There are many pros to dental sleep appliances. One, patients report more comfort and tolerability as opposed to CPAP masks. Oral devices are more convenient for travel since a lot less equipment is involved. For active movers during sleep, there is less equipment to be entangled in.

Do You Qualify for Dental Appliance Therapy?

If you have primary snoring in the absence of sleep apnea, have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea, have been unsuccessful with or refused surgical treatment such as tonsillectomy, or want an appliance to be used in combination with a CPAP device to sleep with a more tolerable air pressure setting, make sure to book a consultation with Dr. Streets.

If you’re in Pinehurst or surrounding areas, please call our office at 910-240-2922 to get more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pinehurst.