Indian Valley Dental Associates | The Sleep Center in Souderton

601 East Broad Street, Suite #200
Souderton, PA 18964
Call Now!  (215) 723-5531
The Sleep Center
 

 

 

The sleep center is committed to improving outcomes and increasing compliance for the Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients in our community. 

 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder affecting more than 25 million Americans.  

 

People who suffer from OSA are repeatedly suffocated during sleep by the collapse of their tongues and soft tissues into the back of their throat. 

 

Patients with significant OSA can stop breathing (apnea) more than 30 times an hour.   

 

When healthy sleep is interrupted in this way, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and other serious health conditions may increase.

 

Most people who have OSA do not realize they suffer from the condition.

 

How do I know if I have OSA?

 

Often times it is a bed partner who may notice the first signs of OSA.

 

An overnight diagnostic sleep study called a polysomnogram is used to determine the type and severity of OSA.  It also provides valuable information as to the appropriate treatment.

 

Sleep studies can be done at dedicated sleep labs or in the comfort of your own bed.

 

Common symptoms you may have during sleep:

Snoring that is loud

Gasping or choking sounds

Pauses in breathing

Sudden or Jerky movements

Restless tossing and turning

Frequent awakenings from sleep

 

Common symptoms you may have while awake:

Feeling as if you haven’t had enough sleep - even after sleeping many hours

Sleepiness or Fatigue during the day

Morning headaches

Irritability and mood swings

Problems with memory

 

Common medical conditions with a strong association to OSA:

High Blood Pressure

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Adult Onset Diabetes

Gastric Reflux

Obesity

Sexual Dysfunction



Why is my Dentist talking to me about OSA?

 

Dentists and Dental Hygienists are in a unique position to help evaluate patients who might be at risk for OSA.

 

During your visit, your dentist has an opportunity to examine the anatomy of your mouth, neck, and throat.  This can provide important clues as to the likelihood of being diagnosed with OSA.

 

Your dentist has been trained to work closely with your physicians to help treat and manage your snoring and OSA.  

 

How is OSA treated?

 

Maintaining an open airway is the goal of any OSA treatment.  

 

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is most often the treatment of choice for patients with moderate and severe OSA.

 

For patients with mild OSA and those who have difficulty wearing CPAP machines, there is another option.  

 

These patients can many times achieve healthy airways with an oral appliance fabricated by their dentist.

 

If left untreated, OSA can cause or worsen many serious medical conditions.

Take the first step and get screened for OSA tonight.


About Dental Sleep Medicine 

 

Dental sleep medicine is an area of dental practice that focuses on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dentists work together with sleep physicians to identify the best treatment for each patient.

 

Dentists and Oral Appliance Therapy 

Dentists pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in adults. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. It fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. A custom-fit oral sleep appliance is an effective treatment that prevents the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position.

 

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Snoring is a common warning sign for obstructive sleep apnea. Prior to treatment, you should be diagnosed by a board certified sleep medicine physician. If you have snoring without sleep apnea, your doctor should give you a prescription for an oral sleep appliance. If you have sleep apnea, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you.

 

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. The CPAP machine keeps your airway open by providing forced air through flexible tubing. CPAP therapy requires you to wear a mask as you sleep. Although CPAP therapy is effective, some people are unable to adhere to it. Your doctor should consider giving you a prescription for a sleep apnea appliance if you are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy or prefer an alternate treatment. Many people like an oral appliance because it is comfortable, quiet, portable and easy to wear. In some severe cases of sleep apnea, upper airway surgery may be another treatment option.

 

Qualified Dentists and Patient Care 

Oral appliance therapy should be provided by a qualified dentist who has technical skill and knowledge in dental sleep medicine. Training in how to provide oral appliance therapy is uncommon in dental schools. So not all dentists have the training or experience to provide optimal care for adults with snoring or sleep apnea. Ask your dentist if he or she has any of these qualifications:

 

Your Health and Quality of Life 

The quality of your sleep has a dramatic impact on your health, well-being and overall quality of life. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of severe health problems. Remember that snoring is a warning sign that should never be ignored. Across the country, many dentists are prepared to provide oral appliance therapy to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor and dentist about your treatment options.

 

Snoring 

Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is snoring. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.

 

About Snoring 

 

Snoring is a sound that occurs during sleep when soft tissue in the upper airway vibrates as you breathe. Snoring is extremely common in men, but also occurs frequently in women, especially during pregnancy and after menopause. Obesity, nasal obstruction, alcohol and smoking all increase the risk of snoring.

 

The sound of snoring tends to be most disturbing to a bed partner or roommate, but loud snoring can wake the person who snores, too. Loud and frequent snoring is a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

 

How is Snoring Diagnosed? 

 

A doctor must determine if your snoring is a sign that you have obstructive sleep apnea. A doctor who is a sleep specialist can provide you with a complete sleep evaluation. This may involve either an overnight sleep study at a sleep center or a home sleep apnea test. The sleep doctor will interpret the data from your sleep study to make a diagnosis.

 

How is Snoring Treated? 

 

 

Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral sleep appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.Oral appliances are quiet, portable and easy to care for.

 

Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and sleeping on your side also can help reduce snoring. If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made oral appliance. You also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy.

 

More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the device that is best for you.

 

Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.

 

Get Help 

 

Talk to your doctor about treatment options for snoring. Ask if oral appliance therapy might be the right solution for you. Get help today to improve your sleep and your health!




Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.

 

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

 

 Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.

 

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.

 

Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.

 

Is Treating OSA Important? 

 

Treating obstructive sleep apnea is incredibly important to your health. When left untreated, sleep apnea often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep apnea also is a threat to your safety as it increases your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated sleep apnea raises your risk for serious health problems. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Erectile dysfunction

Severe, untreated sleep apnea even increases your risk of death.

 

How is OSA Diagnosed? 

 

A doctor must determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea. A doctor who is a sleep specialist can provide you with a complete sleep evaluation. This may involve either an overnight sleep study at a sleep center or a home sleep apnea test. The sleep doctor will interpret the data from your sleep study to make a diagnosis.

 

How is OSA Treated? 

 

Your sleep doctor will discuss treatment options with you. These options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy and surgery.

  • CPAP therapy involves wearing a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine.
  • Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device - worn only during sleep - to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
  • Surgical options include a variety of procedures. All have varying side effects and rates of success.

Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.

 

Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for.

 

If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made sleep apnea appliance. You also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the device that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.

 

Get Help 

 

Talk to your doctor about treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea. Ask if oral appliance therapy might be the right solution for you. Get help today to improve your sleep and your health!

 

Find an AADSM Dentist Near You

 

Updated Aug. 7, 2015

 

Oral Appliance Therapy 

 Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness and revitalize your health. Here is a guide to help you get started with this life-changing treatment.

 

About Oral Appliance Therapy 

 

Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

 

If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made oral appliance. You also will receive a referral to a qualified dentist who can provide oral appliance therapy. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Your dentist will recommend the oral appliance that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.

 

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy 

 

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Convenient for travel
  • Easy to care for

How a Dentist Can Help: The First Visit 

 

 Dentists work closely with physicians to treat snoring and sleep apnea. At your first visit, your dentist will talk to you about the benefits of treatment. You also will receive information on the potential side effects and the cost of therapy.

 

Then your dentist will conduct a complete clinical evaluation. This will include an examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue and airway, and possibly a new X-ray of your mouth.

 

Making and Fitting Your Oral Appliance 

 

Oral appliances are customized using digital or physical impressions and models of your teeth. These models are sent to a dental lab where the appliance is made.

 

Once your oral appliance is ready, you will return to your dentist’s office for a fitting. Your dentist will adjust the appliance to maximize its comfort and effectiveness. You also will learn how to clean the oral appliance and maintain it. After this fitting, your sleep doctor may schedule you for a sleep study to verify treatment success.

 

Follow-Up Visits 

 

Follow-up visits with your dentist will be needed to ensure the optimal fit of the oral appliance. Effective oral appliances are always custom fit and adjusted over time to ensure maximum effectiveness. Your dentist also will schedule you for an annual assessment. These routine visits are an important part of your long-term treatment success.

 

Living with Oral Appliance Therapy 

 

 Treating snoring or obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms, and your quality of life, can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. It is likely that you will sleep better, have more energy and feel sharper throughout the day. You may find that your bed partner begins to sleep better, too!

 

Treating sleep apnea promotes a healthier heart, body and mind. With your dentist’s help, you can improve your sleep and your health!