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Sleep Apnea Treatment for Patients in Cottonwood, AZ
TAP Appliances Provide Relief From Sleep Apnea Symptoms
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are two different types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the air passages become blocked, preventing you from getting the oxygen you need.
Sometimes this happens because the throat muscles become relaxed as you fall asleep. Eventually, they collapse into the airways, cutting off the oxygen supply. Other times, a person’s tongue may simply fall into the back of the throat, which also cuts off the airway passages. This is particularly prevalent in individuals that sleep on their backs.
When this occurs night after night, it causes a person to become sleep deprived. That has negative effects on everything they do and causes them to function less effectively.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Headaches when waking up, or shortly after
- A sore throat or dryness in the mouth
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Changes in mood
Customized, non-invasive oral appliances can help you gain relief from sleep apnea.
Long-Term Effects of Sleep Apnea
- Cardiac conditions, including heart attacks
- High blood pressure
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea With Oral Appliance Therapy
Many patients seek oral appliance therapy to treat their sleep apnea because they cannot wear the traditional CPAP machine. This is sometimes due to the fact that the patient cannot take the pressure, doesn’t like the pressure, or isn’t comfortable with the mask on their face. Certain sleeping positions, for example, make it difficult to sleep and wear these masks.
Our doctors use a TAP appliance to treat a patient’s sleep apnea. These devices fit inside the mouth and gently push the lower jaw forward. This prevents anything from obstructing the airway passages while a person is asleep. It’s also comfortable enough for anyone to wear. TAP appliances are custom made to fit a patient’s unique bite and can be adjusted if they are not as effective as they should be, or if the patient is not comfortable. We also offer at-home screenings that allow patients to track the device’s effectiveness after 90 days. Although most patients are very happy with their TAP device, anyone that has concerns with theirs is welcome to come back and speak to us.
Monitoring Your Progress
Typically, patients will return for a second visit after two weeks to ensure that their device is comfortably positioned. We also offer at-home screenings that allow patients to track their progress after 90 days. The results of your screening allow us to determine whether your TAP appliance is improving your condition or if adjustments need to be made for increased effectiveness. Regular follow-up appointments can also be made as needed if you feel that your TAP appliance is not the best solution for you.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’re likely aware that its effects are spilling over into every area of your life. It’s important to understand that there are many different treatments available, and not everyone must rely on a CPAP machine. If you want to learn more about our TAP device and how we can help treat your condition, call our Cottonwood dentists today at 928-634-9366 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.