Alpine Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring is usually harmless, but if accompanied by breathing pauses and frequent sleep interruptions, it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is associated with heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. OSA causes excessive sleepiness and can be fatal when the patient falls asleep while driving.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. The soft tissues at the back of the throat collapse during sleep, causing the air passages to narrow. When oxygen in the blood drops too low, the body forces the sleeper to wake up so he or she can start breathing normally again. Because of frequent awakenings, the patient experiences excessive sleepiness during the day, difficulty focusing on tasks, and mood problems.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable. Alpine dentist Dr. Larsen is a sleep specialist who provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for the condition. Diagnosis usually involves a review of medical history and a sleep study in a laboratory or at home. During the sleep study, you are hooked to a device that monitors your vital signs, oxygen levels and other important variables.

If the test results indicate sleep apnea, Dr. Larsen offers several treatment options. Depending on your needs and preferences, it may be a combination of lifestyle changes (including weight management), CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, and oral appliance therapy. Surgery is considered only if all other treatment options have failed.

Oral Appliance Therapy

CPAP is still the first line of treatment for sleep apnea, but many patients are intolerant to CPAP or have tried CPAP and failed. Your dentist in Alpine offers oral appliance therapy as an effective alternative. Oral appliances are devices that keep the airway open by moving the lower jaw forward or keeping the tongue in place.

End sleep apnea today. Visit Alpine Dental Care or call 801-756-4440 to schedule a consultation.