Beneficial Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Francisco
Millions of people deal with the issue of disruptive snoring. This nightly disruption may be their own; or possibly their bed partner’s. Snoring may be more than a nuisance; it may be a sign of sleep apnea. If you or your partner experience any of the following symptoms, with or without snoring, it would be wise to speak with your dentist or physician to determine if sleep apnea may be the culprit.
- Waking up feeling out of breath, a choking or gasping sensation
- Excessive daytime sleepiness or tiredness even after a full night’s sleep
- Consistently waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Memory, mood, and personality changes
- Morning or night time headaches
There are actually three different categories of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when throat muscles relax, blocking the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obtrusive and central sleep apnea.
Over the years, excellent treatment options for sleep apnea have been developed both in the medical and dental fields. Most frequently, a patient may be prescribed a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to receive a continuous flow of oxygen as he or she sleeps. This treatment is highly successful when used properly. The problem is that most people dislike the feeling of wearing a mask over their nose and mouth, or of prongs sitting at their nostrils. Because of this, less than 30% of people can tolerate the use of CPAP.
Fortunately, there is another alternative for treating obstructive sleep apnea attainable right through your dentist. Next to the CPAP, Oral Appliance Therapy has proven to be the most beneficial to the patient with sleep apnea. Because this option is more comfortable, compliance is easier for the patient. An oral appliance is custom fitted to the patient based on their unique physical characteristics and the severity of apnea they experience.
Dr. Arellano works with Kaiser and sleep physicians in San Francisco. Working hand in hand, dentists and physicians use the oral appliance to lead sleep apnea patients to better sleep; and thus, better health!