Sleep Apnea Specialist

True Dental Group

General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in Independence, MO

If you wake up most mornings with a headache or a sore throat, sleep apnea may be to blame. At True Dental Group, James Brown, DDS, Randal Silver, DMD, and the team provide an alternative treatment to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for people with obstructive sleep apnea. To make an appointment at the practice in Independence, Missouri, call the office or request one online today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing during sleep. There are several types of sleep apnea, but True Dental Group specializes in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA causes the soft tissues at the back of your throat to relax while you’re sleeping. This relaxation causes the tissues to block your airways, making it difficult to breathe. 

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Morning headache
  • Low libido
  • Waking up with a sore throat

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you might also find it difficult to focus or pay attention at work or school.

When should I see a dentist about sleep apnea?

It’s important to visit True Dental Group about sleep apnea if you wake up gasping or choking or you snore loudly enough to disturb the sleep of others. 

Snoring doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea, but it’s an indicator. Even if you don’t snore, it’s better to rule out the condition just in case. Without proper treatment, OSA increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

To diagnose sleep apnea, your True Dental Group provider conducts an oral exam and asks about your symptoms, including their severity and when they started. They also examine your mouth, nose, and the back of your throat and measure your neck circumference. 

If these measures aren’t enough to determine the cause of your symptoms, your provider might refer you to a specialist for a sleep study. This type of study monitors your heart and respiratory rate during sleep.

How is sleep apnea treated?

True Dental Group treats sleep apnea using an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). That alternative is a custom-fit oral appliance that pushes your lower jaw slightly forward. By repositioning your jaw, it’s possible to improve your airflow and prevent snoring.

To ensure that your custom oral appliance fits perfectly, the team uses The Eccovision® acoustic pharyngometer. This cutting-edge tool makes it easy for your provider to measure the size of your pharyngeal airway and the stability of the tissues between your nose and the back of your throat.

If you’re concerned about the risk of sleep apnea, make an appointment at True Dental Group. Call the office or request a consultation online today.