Sleep Apnea Dental Medicine

Are you drowsy during the day with no explanation? Do you snore loudly or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be one of more than 12 million Americans who are affected by Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disordered Breathing can make everyday life very difficult. People with Sleep Apnea also have side effects like chronic grinding and tooth wear. We’re thrilled to let you know that Dr Jungblut offers oral appliances for the treatment of Sleep Apnea symptoms.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a condition in which during sleep, breaths become shallow or short and breathing can even stop for a period of time.  Each episode can last anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute, or even longer. Many patients are unaware of their Sleep Apnea because they are never fully awakened by the episodes.

The most common type of apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. OSA is caused by some sort of obstruction in the back of mouth or throat or narrowing of the airway. Loud and frequent snoring can be an indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

 If you are experiencing these symptoms, your family physician should prescribe a sleep study to find out if you have a form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or just primary snoring.  After a proper diagnosis by your family physician of either mild case of sleep apnea or primary snoring case a custom oral sleep appliance can be made by Dr. Jungblut.  It can be an effective and more comfortable alternative to a CPAP machine.

What are risk factors for Sleep Apnea?

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.  Sleep Apnea is most often found in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors as well.

Is Sleep Apnea dangerous?

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, stroke and diabetes. 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.  Studies show people with untreated Sleep Apnea live three years less than treated individuals.

What are the signs of Sleep Apnea?

 Patients with Sleep Apnea may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Dry or sore throat upon waking up
  • Lack of energy during daytime hours
  • Sleepiness during daytime hours
  • Restless sleep
  • Chronic headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • 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

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Treatments for Sleep Apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea.

There are behavioral and lifestyle changes that can help improve and manage the condition. Losing weight, eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking, or sleeping on their sides instead of on their backs are all ways to help improve sleep.

Another common way to treat Sleep Apnea is with a CPAP machine (which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). The CPAP machine forces air into the lungs through a mask over the nose and mouth. Treatment with CPAP can be very effective, but the compliance rate is low and many patients report discomfort with the machine.

What Does an Oral Sleep Apnea Appliance Do?

Working in concert with your family physician we make a Sleep Apnea appliance that is custom fitted to the patient’s teeth and mouth. Dr. Jungblut is experienced and skilled with oral appliance treatment. We can custom fit an appliance to your teeth that works to keep your airway open and unobstructed. These devices are small, convenient, and comfortable, which make them an excellent choice for many patients suffering with Sleep Apnea.

What should I do if I suspect that you or someone in my family may suffer from Sleep Apnea?

If you feel like you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea, call the office today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Sleep Apnea and oral appliance therapy.  Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea gives a patient a decreased quality of life and shortens it so don’t delay.

Dr Jungblut has the experience to help you get relief from your sleep apnea and snoring.  Dr. Jungblut completed the Competency Study Series with The Metz Center for Sleep in 2017. In 2019, Dr Jungblut  completed the Mastery Classes with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr Jungblut is an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate.  She now helps her patients live better, happier, and healthier lives by treating snoring and Sleep Apnea conditions.