Sleep Apnea Questions

sleep apnea questionsServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Obstructive sleep apnea does more than just affect your ability to get rest. Every time your airway becomes obstructed while sleeping, your body and brain react as if you are choking to death. Left untreated, sleep apnea increases your risk of chronic health problems, some of which can be life threatening.

If you live in the Nashville area and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or think you may have this dangerous sleep breathing disorder, then the sleep apnea dentists at Devine Dentistry can help.

Here are some common questions about sleep apnea, its diagnosis, and treatment:

What are the risks of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is not a problem that will go away without receiving diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional, such as the Belle Meade sleep apnea dentists at Devine Dentistry.

Without treatment, you can develop any of the following health issues:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Memory problems, including cognitive decline
  • Obesity
  • Impotence
  • Headaches of migraine-like intensity
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Low birth weight in babies
  • Premature birth

What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea develops because of a restricted airway. This breathing problem could be the result of a collapse or enlargement of soft tissue in the throat. The blockages can be partial or complete.

That said, certain factors can cause an airway issue or increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, such as:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a large tongue and/or tonsils and adenoids
  • The shape of your head and neck causing a narrow airway
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Misaligned bite or TMJ

Certain segments of the population are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Men are more likely to develop the disorder than women, although women are not immune to the disorder. Certain research also has been done suggesting that sleep apnea can be hereditary. However, sleep apnea can even plague people that have a healthy to moderate BMI and weight, even athletes.

How does a sleep apnea dentist diagnose sleep apnea? 

A sleep apnea dentist has special training and experience to diagnose and treat the disorder by addressing the cause—the airway issue. At Devine Dentistry, our sleep apnea dentists, Drs. Brian Devine and Russell Mack can conduct an airway evaluation to determine any problems with the airway that may result in a sleep breathing disorder.

How does a sleep apnea dentist treat sleep apnea?

We prefer to use oral appliance therapy to treat most cases of sleep apnea. The oral appliances we use are made of better materials and customized for the ideal fit and comfort—making them an upgrade over the anti-snoring mouthpieces that are available to be purchased in stores or online.

Patients with sleep apnea who undergo oral appliance therapy report a high success rate. Oral appliance therapy also costs less and is more convenient than using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which many sleep apnea patients have to wear every night for the rest of their lives after they are diagnosed with the disorder. Many insurance companies are now covering the costs of an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. CPAP machines are effective, but can be cumbersome to use, are noisy, and uncomfortable. An oral appliance, on the other hand, is discrete, emits no noise, and is comfortable to wear.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Nashville

You can trust the sleep apnea dentists at Devine Dentistry to provide diagnosis and treatment of a sleep breathing disorder. Call us at (615) 269-4209 to schedule a consultation today.

Devine Dentistry offers sleep apnea dental services to patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.