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Snoring & Sleep Solutions

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition defined by intermittent loss of quality airflow during sleep due to complete or partial obstruction of the upper airway. Breathing is interrupted briefly, but repeatedly, during sleep. (The “apnea” in “sleep apnea” refers to a breathing pause of at least ten seconds.) As a result of long intervals between breaths, sleep can be fragmented, blood and brain oxygen levels lowered, and heart rhythms can become dangerously erratic.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 18 million people in the U.S. are living with sleep apnea. Most of them sleep—albeit restlessly—through the symptoms, so many sufferers remain undiagnosed. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have dire consequences on systemic and overall health.

How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea?

There are people of all ages who have sleep apnea—even children—but there are some common risk factors that show up often:

  • Excess weight
  • Thick neck circumference
  • Being male
  • Being older than 40
  • Family history
  • Alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizer use
  • Smoking
  • Nasal congestion
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Waking up feeling tired
  • Waking up with dry mouth or feeling dehydrated
  • Loud snoring
  • Restless sleep and insomnia
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headache
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Anxiety

What happens if Sleep Apnea is left untreated?

When left unaddressed, sleep apnea can have drastic negative consequences on your systemic and overall health—in some cases, it can even result in death. Potential health problems and side effects include:

  • Depression
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Sleep Apnea Forms

How does a dentist treat Sleep Apnea?

The most traditional, typical sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP). CPAP machines use hoses and masks to deliver steady air pressure. However, they are not for everyone! They are bulky, can be uncomfortable, and a lot of people using one sound like Darth Vader. Everything from user claustrophobia to rambunctious pets attacking the hoses can further disrupt the sleep experience. Fortunately, Dr. Diehl and Dr. Hemphill offer alternatives!

Oral Appliance Used to Treat Sleep Apnea

Fotona® NightLase® Snoring Treatment

We offer another treatment that is more focused on snoring than sleep apnea, but it can provide relief from both–and you may want to investigate it further. NightLase® therapy is a noninvasive series of laser treatments taking place over a six-week period. If you would like to learn more about NightLase therapy, visit our Laser Dentistry page here.

Dupont Family Dentistry wants to help you manage your overall health—not just your oral health. If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from sleep apnea, or you have a diagnosis but have been unable to tolerate the CPAP, call Dr. Diehl & Dr. Hemphill today at (260) 209-1550 to schedule a consultation.

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(260) 209-1550

10215 Dupont Circle Dr. W
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

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Wed 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu 8:00 am-2:00 pm
Fri 8:00 am-2:00 pm