What Is Sleep Apnea?
A number of Harker Heights, TX patients suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a serious disorder that can impact your quality of sleep and systemic health. The condition occurs when the soft tissues in the back portion of the mouth become lax and fall into the airways while you sleep, causing repetitive interruptions in breathing. While this oxygen deprivation may be fleeting, it can place strain on the brain and body, often leading to snoring, memory loss, high blood pressure, weight gain, and other health concerns. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment is commonly recommended to treat OSA; however, many patients have trouble tolerating this option. To help ease the risk and symptoms of sleep apnea in such cases, the general dentists at ACE Dental of Harker Heights offer custom oral appliance therapy (OAT). If you may have sleep apnea, visit with our team to see if an oral appliance is right for you.
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What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
For patients who have severe sleep apnea, CPAP therapy may still be the recommended course of care. But in cases of mild to moderate OSA, an oral appliance might help improve the condition. Since sleep apnea can impact your health in myriad ways, it is important to have it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Weight gain
- Restless sleep or insomnia
- Frequent or loud snoring
- Grogginess or daytime fatigue
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Morning headaches or migraines
- Choking, gasping for air, or feeling short of breath
- Memory fog or mood changes
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated with a Dental Device?
Dental solutions for treating sleep apnea include what is referred to as oral appliance therapy. This approach involves the custom-creation of a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which is an appliance worn between the top and bottom teeth during sleep. While similar to a night guard or athletic mouth guard, a MAD holds the mandible (lower jaw) in a more forward position to help keep the airway open. After OSA has been diagnosed by a physician, our dentists can take impressions of your mouth and have your oral appliance created by a professional dental lab. We will have you return for a fitting once your sleep apnea appliance arrives at our office.
How Can I Care for My Sleep Apnea Appliance?
One of our Harker Heights, TX dentists will adjust the fit of your MAD to ensure it feels comfortable yet secure in your mouth. We will also spend time explaining how your snoring and sleep apnea appliance works and give you instructions on how to clean, maintain, and store the device, which can help increase its lifespan. Please bring your MAD to your routine dental visits so our dentists can ensure it continues to serve your needs. Oral appliances can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms and enhance your quality of sleep when worn as directed.
Will Insurance Cover A dental Device for Sleep Apnea?
Insurance coverage for sleep apnea appliances may vary according to policy and provider. Our billing specialist can review your benefits ahead of time and let you know of any anticipated out-of-pocket costs. ACE Dental of Harker Heights is dedicated to the health and wellness of our patients and accepts several, affordable payment methods for your convenience. We can also help you apply for flexible financing plans or explore other budget-friendly options.
Get a Good Night's Rest With Sleep Apnea Care
If you snore, wake with a dry mouth, or have other concerning symptoms, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The experienced dentists at ACE Dental of Harker Heights are pleased to offer oral appliances to help alleviate mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. Schedule a visit at our Harker Heights, TX practice to learn about this treatment option, and take the first step toward a good night's rest.