Sleep Apnea Treatment in Arvada

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder where the soft tissue of your throat and palate sags during sleep, blocking your airway and preventing proper respiration (breathing) for up to 10 seconds or longer. This type of apnea is also known as “obstructive sleep apnea” or OSA for short. In the short-term, OSA results in poor quality sleep, and it can cause a lot of other health issues in the long-term. If you think you have sleep apnea, contact the team at Candelas Dentistry right away to explore your options for treatment.

sleep apnea treatment in Arvada

Did you know…

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Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, and is estimated to affect up to 26% of US adults between the ages of 30-70.

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The Health Effects Of Sleep Apnea

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Poor quality sleep

People with sleep apnea may toss, turn, and have difficulties sleeping well, or may awake suddenly in the middle of the night. This can lead to issues related to poor quality sleep like daytime drowsiness, irritability, weight gain, and stress.

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Contributes to diabetes

Sleep apnea is associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance, and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes in individuals who are prediabetic and have other related risk factors.

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High blood pressure

The frequent interruption of blood oxygenation due to pauses in breathing stresses your body and causes hormonal shifts that can raise your blood pressure.

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Elevated risk of heart attack & stroke

People with OSA are more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and irregular heartbeats compared to those who do not have this sleep disorder.

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Recognizing The Signs Of Sleep Apnea

If you have a sleeping partner, they’re likely to recognize the most common sign of apnea, which is heavy snoring accompanied by frequent interruptions or pauses in breathing.
When you start breathing again, you may also make gasping, choking, or snorting sounds.

Other common symptoms of OSA include abrupt awakenings at night, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, feeling drowsy or tired even after sleeping for 7-8 hours or longer, getting headaches in the morning, and trouble focusing and concentrating during the day.

Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea

The right treatment depends on your specific case and the severity of your apnea. Lifestyle changes are often recommended to help reduce the severity of apnea, such as weight loss and exercise, avoiding alcohol and sedative medications before bed, sleeping on your side, and ceasing smoking and oral tobacco use.

Some patients may also be good candidates for treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). This involves working with Arvada dentist Dr. Kim to create a special mouthguard that moves your jaws into a healthier position during sleep, and prevents tissue from sagging and blocking your airway.

For those who have serious apnea, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine may be recommended. This consists of a special pump and mask that’s worn while you sleep. A stream of gently pressurized air is sent through the mask, keeping your airway clear and preventing tissue from sagging.

Please visit our office at 14749 West 87th Pkwy, Unit C, Arvada, CO 80005 to see if you are eligible for treatment.

Soft Tissue Grafts

Soft tissue grafts, also known as “gum grafts,” are used to help restore your gums after severe gum recession caused by gum disease. In this procedure, soft tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth, and is then sutured into place around the teeth. The tissue heals and bonds with the existing gum tissue, restoring your gum line and resolving negative effects of gum recession, such as tooth sensitivity. 

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting may be required if advanced periodontal disease has damaged your underlying jaw tissue. In this procedure, bone is taken from elsewhere in your body or from a donor, usually in the form of powder or small granules. Then, this bone matter is packed into the damaged bone area, and your natural bone heals around it, restoring your jaw. 

Guided Tissue Regeneration

Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) is typically used alongside gum flap surgery. When this procedure is used, a specialized membrane is placed between the gum tissue and the bone before the gums are stitched and re-attached.

This membrane stops soft tissue (gum tissue) from growing into the gap between the teeth and gums. As it slowly dissolves, slower-growing bone tissue will grow into the area instead, which allows the jaw bone to regenerate itself.

Did you know…

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Perio maintenance appointments occur every 3 months to keep bacteria at bay.

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Have questions about sleep apnea? Find answers here.

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Does Heavy Snoring Mean I Have Sleep Apnea?

Not necessarily. Snoring is associated with sleep apnea, but snoring alone doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea tend to snore heavily, but also have periodic interruptions in breathing. 

When they start breathing again, they may gasp or make choking sounds. So if your sleeping partner or a family member tells you that you’re snoring heavily and there are interruptions in your snoring, this may be a sign that you have sleep apnea.

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What Happens If I Don’t Get Treatment For Sleep Apnea?

In the short term, your symptoms will not improve. You will continue to get poor-quality sleep. You may feel drowsy and tired during the day, even if you’ve slept for 7-8 hours or longer. You may experience mood swings, have trouble concentrating, and have a lower libido (sex drive). Drowsy driving is also more likely if you have sleep apnea, and is extremely dangerous.

The long-term effects are equally bad. Sleep apnea interrupts proper blood oxygenation. This means that your blood can’t deliver as much oxygen to your brain, and this puts more stress on your heart, too. People with sleep apnea are much more likely to have cardiovascular (heart) disease, and have a higher risk of stroke.

What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Sleep Apnea?

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There are a lot of different things that may raise your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s an overview of some of the most common risk factors:

  • Overweightness and obesity, which leads to fat deposits in the airway
  • A thicker neck, which could indicate a narrow airway
  • Being male, since men are 2-3x more likely to develop OSA
  • Old age, as sleep apnea is much more common in older adults
  • Frequent use of alcohol or sedative medications
  • Smoking, and smokers are 3x more likely to develop OSA
  • A narrow throat or difficulties breathing through the nose
  • A family history of sleep apnea

Do I Need A Sleep Study To Be Diagnosed?

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A sleep study is always the best way to be certain of a sleep apnea diagnosis. In a sleep study, you will go to a sleep specialist. You’ll go to the facility at night, then they will attach special sensors and monitors to you. You’ll sleep normally, and the team at the facility will review your sensor data and sleep patterns to make a formal diagnosis of sleep apnea. 

After this, you can discuss your condition in detail with a doctor. You can also explore your options for treatment, such as lifestyle changes, a CPAP machine, or oral appliance therapy from Dr. Kim at Candelas Dentistry in Arvada.

What’s The Difference Between Obstructive And Central Sleep Apnea?

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form. It is caused when your airway tissue collapses, physically obstructing your breathing. The tissue actually blocks your airway, preventing proper respiration. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is different, and is more rare than OSA. In this type of apnea, the brain doesn’t properly signal the respiratory muscles to breathe, so breathing is interrupted. There is nothing physically blocking your breathing. Your brain simply does not send the right signals to your body, and this causes breathing interruptions.

Did you know…

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When caught early, gingivitis is entirely treatable and reversible. 

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