Sleep Apnea

Alpha Omega Dental Center

Family & General Dentist located in Marquette, MI

Feeling tired throughout the day, waking up repeatedly during the night, or having a partner complain of your snoring could mean that you have sleep apnea. At Alpha Omega Dental Center, Cynthia Wiggins, DDS, offers expert diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. If you want to sleep well and feel rested again, call the office in Marquette, Michigan, for a sleep apnea examination to schedule an appointment.

Sleep Apnea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop breathing during the night. Each period of not breathing is called an apnea. Apneas can last for seconds to minutes and may occur hundreds of times a night.  

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the soft tissues of your throat block your airway when you breathe. That may occur because your tonsils are too large or because you’re overweight.  It may also occur if your tongue is larger than the space in your mouth, or when your hormones are changing.  

A rarer kind of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea. In this type, your does not send the signal to the muscles involved with breathing.  The sensing mechanism to breath is saying – it is not needed right now so just wait a bit. Some medications can cause central sleep apnea.

How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

Only a physician can diagnose you with sleep apnea. The team at Alpha Omega Dental Center works together with your primary care provider to confirm a diagnosis. Some signs that you may have sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring loudly
  • Awakening yourself by snoring or gagging
  • Sleeping restlessly or having insomnia
  • Having a dry or sore throat when you wake up
  • Experiencing headaches in the morning
  • Feeling sleepy or fatigued during the day
  • Having concentration and memory problems
  • Feeling irritable or moody

Approximately 80% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea also clench or grind their teeth, so when the team at Alpha Omega Dental Center notices these signs, they also evaluate how much oxygen you receive while sleeping.

Is sleep apnea serious?

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can impair your health. If you don’t treat your sleep apnea, you may develop high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Sleep apnea can also contribute to other conditions such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, hypertension, insomnia, headaches, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and depression.

The daytime tiredness that occurs as a result of untreated sleep apnea could cause you to have an accident. Your work could also suffer, as well as your personal relationships and quality of life.

How is sleep apnea treated?

At Alpha Omega Dental Center, the team evaluates your oxygen levels, heart rate, and the flow of air as you breathe using the Remmers Sleep Recorder as a screening tool only. They also coordinate care with your primary care provider who may suggest you undergo a polysomnogram, a sleep study, either at a hospital or at home.

If your sleep apnea is mild or moderate, Alpha Omega Dental Center can create an oral appliance using our in-office technology.   If you’re diagnosed with a severe case of sleep apnea, your sleep specialist may recommend treatments such as a continuous positive airway pressure mask (CPAP) or an oral appliance. When a sever case is not successful with a PAP machine, combination therapy, the use of both CPAP and an oral appliance can be the solution for successful treatment of your condition.  

CPAP is the gold standard for severe obstructive sleep apnea, so it's important you follow the recommended CPAP therapy. Patients who do not tolerate CPAP well can also see Alpha Omega Dental Center for an oral appliance.  The most important thing to acknowledge is that it is important to treat your apnea condition.  It does not matter what method is used, as long as it is successful in reducing the number of events per hour.  The lower you go, the better it is for your overall health.  

If you already have a diagnosis for sleep apnea, you can ask your physician to forward a prescription for an oral appliance to the team at Alpha Omega Dental Center.

Don’t take a serious health risk by ignoring loud snoring or sleepiness. Contact Alpha Omega Dental Center for an examination. You can call our friendly office staff to book an appointment today.