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Sleep Apnea/Oral Appliances

Woman covering ears while husband snoresAbout 22 million Americans have moderate to severe sleep apnea, while 10 percent of the population has mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a sleeping respiratory disorder that causes your breathing to reduce or stop. Most of the time, this is caused by an obstruction of your pharynx and results in reduced levels of oxygen in your blood. These respiratory interruptions may last for 10 seconds and in some cases, even 60 seconds, until your brain responds to the lack of oxygen and triggers micro-awakenings to correct the airflow. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea do not even realize they woke up several times — sometimes even as much as hundreds of time — in a single night. Nevertheless, your sleep is disrupted and restless.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three main types of sleep apnea:
•  Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is caused when the back tissue of your throat collapses, or your tongue rolls back in your mouth, blocking your airways. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by snoring.
•  Central Sleep Apnea: This is caused when the brain fails to trigger the muscles that control respiration. People who suffer from this seldom snore.
•  Complex Sleep Apnea: This is a combination of obstructive and complex sleep apnea and usually emerges during treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep-related issues like sleep apnea can be very harmful to your overall health. Some signs that you suffer from sleep apnea include:
•  Loud snoring.
•  Excessive sleepiness and fatigue during daytime.
•  Morning headaches and migraines.
•  Insomnia.
•  Waking up unrefreshed.
•  Choking, snorting, or gasping sounds during the night.
•  Memory loss and low concentration.

Sleep apnea can also lead to more serious health problems like:
•  Hypertension.
•  Irregular heart rate and greater risk of heart failure.
•  Anxiety and depression.
•  Obesity.
•  Diabetes Type 2.
•  Stroke.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Mild sleep apnea can be treated simply by changing your lifestyle habits. These include:
•  Losing weight.
•  Avoiding alcohol, smoking and sleeping pills.
•  Lying on your side rather than on your back.

Breathing Appliances

Breathing appliances, like the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) appliance, can be effective in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea. These appliances deliver slightly pressurized airflow to your nose and mouth which helps keep your airways open. This is one of the most common types of treatment options.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances and dental devices, like night mouthguards and tongue retaining devices, can help in keeping your airways open. These devices can be custom-made for you by Dr. John P. Poovey or Dr. Wilcox at JP Dental & Implant Center to fix sleep apnea.

Surgery for Sleep Apnea

If you have exhausted all the non-invasive treatment options, surgery may be recommended. If you have enlarged tonsils, a deviated septum, or a small mandible with an overbite that narrows down your throat, you may need surgery to correct sleep apnea. The most common types of surgeries include nasal surgery, removal of tonsils and adenoids or excess tissues at the back of your throat. In some procedures, plastic implant rods will need to be placed in your palate. Like all surgeries, these increase the risk of infections and complications. Symptoms may also worsen after the treatment. That is why surgery should only be treated as a last recourse.

Before taking the leap into invasive procedures, consult Dr. John P. Poovey and Dr. Wilcox at JP Dental & Implant Center. Call us now at (970) 822-7622 to schedule an appointment.


2412 Patterson Rd. #7
Grand Junction, CO 81505-1259


(970) 822-7622


Mon: 9am - 4pm
Tue - Thur: 8am - 4pm
Fri: 8am - 3pm

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