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All Posts Tagged: Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring or Sleep Problems? A Sleep Device May Help You Get a Good Night Sleep

Snoring or Sleep Problems? A Sleep Device May Help You Get a Good Night Sleep

You’ve probably seen the humorous commercial asking if there is a moose in your bed. While snoring can be funny, it’s not funny if your sleep, or the sleep of your loved one, is being affected by snoring. Snoring is not only disruptive to sleep, but it can be a sign of a deeper problem such as sleep apnea.

Why Do I Snore?

If you or a loved one snore, you’re not alone. About 90 million American adults snore. Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and the uvula (the little piece that hangs down in the back of your throat). The flow of air from your nose or mouth cause these tissues to vibrate making you snore. Many times, this vibration is caused by an obstruction or narrowing in the airway. For example, people with obstructive sleep apnea have a blockage caused by the relaxation of the soft tissue in their throat which blocks the airway.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Your doctor has an easy solution to snoring, an oral appliance. An oral appliance is worn only when you are sleeping and is a custom fitted appliance which can improve your sleep and stop the snoring. It does this by holding your mouth in the correct position so that your airway remains open. It is also an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

Your doctor will fit you for a custom oral appliance by taking physical and digital impressions of your teeth. These are then sent to the dental lab where your custom appliance is fabricated. Once your appliance is ready you will return to the office and the doctor will adjust the appliance for maximum comfort and effectiveness. You’ll also be shown how to clean and care for your new oral appliance. Your doctor may schedule a sleep study to verify your new oral appliance is a success.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

One of the main benefits of oral appliance therapy is an increase in the quality of your life. When you get a good night’s sleep you are more rested, feel refreshed, and feel healthier. Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Easy to carry when traveling
  • Easy to clean and care for

    You don’t have to suffer from snoring and the disruption it causes. If you or your bed partner snores, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about oral appliance therapy. You deserve a good night’s sleep.

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Is it Sleep Apnea or Just Snoring?

Many people snore, some snore more than others. But did you know snoring is a symptom of a very serious condition known as sleep apnea? Sleep apnea occurs because the soft palette in your throat relaxes while you sleep blocking off your airway. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Another type of sleep apnea is not as common and known as central sleep apnea occurs when the brain “forgets” to tell your body to breath during sleep. Sleep apnea is directly related to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and stroke, and if left treated even death.

Between 50 to 70 million in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts your natural sleep pattern leaving you feeling exhausted and tired in the morning. Since you stop breathing your body is not getting the oxygen it needs. This can occur several times a night causing your blood oxygen levels to drop to a dangerous level. You or your partner may notice you stop breathing or snore very loudly and often. Some of the other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Rapid heartbeat upon waking
  • Feeling exhausted during the day
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Entering REM sleep (the sleep stage in which you dream) as soon as you close your eyes
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Irritability

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms speak to your doctor. Treatment of sleep apnea is fairly simple and straightforward. Some patients use a CPAP or Bi-PAP machine to provide positive airflow during the night while others may find relief with a mouth guard or dental appliance.

A dental appliance is custom fabricated to pull your lower jaw out a bit to keep your airways open. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth as well as digital images and send them to the lab. Once your appliance is finished you will return for a fitting and wear your appliance while you sleep. Many people find relief from sleep apnea using a dental appliance.

If you experience any symptoms related to sleep apnea talk to your dentist and doctor to formulate the best treatment for your case. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, but it is easily treated so you can stay healthy for many years.

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Why Smith and Cole?

In the Austin area you have many choices when selecting a dentist. You want a doctor who is experienced, caring, and easy to talk to. You want the practice to have friendly and caring staff as well as a modern clean clinic. At Smith and Cole you’ll get all this and more. Our staff is dedicated to serving your entire family. Our doctors care about you as a person and listen to your concerns and address them in easy to understand terms and language. They are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have at each visit. Our staff loves their jobs and it shows in the level of expertise and courtesy they show each and every visitor. At Smith and Cole it is our people who make the difference.

Caring and Experienced Doctors

Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole both attended Abilene Christian University for their undergraduate work. They received their Doctorate degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Both doctors have participated in several missions trips abroad and are dedicated to their faith in God. They live in the area with their wives and families.

Dr. Kristin Soileau completed her Advanced General Dentistry in the US Army. She spent the first seven years of her career serving in the Army and has been at Smith and Cole Dentistry for two years. She has participated in several mission trips and is an active member of her church. She lives in the area with her husband and children.

Dr. Albert Ouellette recently retired from the US Air Force after serving for 21 years. He is a Board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS) and completed his Advanced Education in General Dentistry program in 1995, and his OMFS residency in 2003. He is now a member of the Smith and Cole Dentistry Family and thanks God for the opportunities provided to him. He lives in the area with his wife and children and is an active member of his church and loves to participate in mission trips.

Compassionate and Skillful Staff

We feel we have the best team available, it’s that simple. Our staff is dedicated to your comfort and oral health and this shows in the level of compassion and care you receive from the moment you are greeted to the time you check out. Many of our staff have been in the dentistry field for many years. They are skilled and experienced with the latest in dental technology and practices to give you the most up to date and pain free treatments. Once you visit our practice you will see it is truly our people who set Smith and Cole Dentistry apart from every other dentistry practice in the area.

Call or contact us today and schedule a visit to our practice. We’d love to meet you and your family and show you around. We’re confident you’ll see and feel the difference here and make Smith and Cole Dentistry your home for all your dental needs.

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