Sleep Apnea Treatment for Patients in Cottonwood, AZ

TAP Appliances Provide Relief From Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes someone to stop breathing while they are asleep. This can cause problems in a person’s daily life, as sleep is vital to all of our bodily functions. There are many different types of treatments available for sleep apnea, with one of the most common being the CPAP device. Unfortunately, not everyone can use these machines and the cost of them and their upkeep is often too much for many people. Today, many sleep apnea sufferers are turning to Thornton Adjustable Positioner treatments. These treatments are much more gentle than CPAP machines and still provide the relief needed so you can get a better night’s sleep. After performing a thorough examination, our Dr. Bryan J. Shanahan at Peak Family Dental Care can determine if you’re a good candidate for our Cottonwood sleep apnea treatment.
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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.

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Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Often sleep apnea is first suspected by a person that sleeps in the same room as a person suffering from it. This is due to the fact that the sufferer cannot detect some symptoms, such as loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea may also cause someone to suddenly wake up, even if it’s just for one second. While the person suffering from sleep apnea may not be aware of it, others often are. There are some symptoms individuals can look for if they believe they may suffer from sleep apnea. These include:
  • Headaches when waking up, or shortly after
  • Fatigue
  • A sore throat or dryness in the mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Changes in mood
  • Forgetfulness
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it could indicate sleep apnea.
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Customized, non-invasive oral appliances can help you gain relief from sleep apnea.

Long-Term Effects of Sleep Apnea

Although sleep apnea has many negative short-term effects, it also has long-term effects, as well. Sleep apnea sufferers, particularly those that do not seek treatment, are at higher risk of developing:
  • Cardiac conditions, including heart attacks
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
In addition to placing sleep apnea sufferers at higher risk for these conditions, they may also be more at risk for developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study published by the American Academy of Neurology, a severe lack of sleep can lead to these debilitating conditions. This is why it’s so important that anyone that thinks they may suffer from sleep apnea gets treatment right away.
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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.

Calm, Comfortable Dental Treatment for Flagstaff, Cottonwood, and Sedona Patients

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