Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.
Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.
Is Treating OSA Important?
Treating obstructive sleep apnea is incredibly important to your health. When left untreated, sleep apnea often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep apnea also is a threat to your safety as it increases your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated sleep apnea raises your risk for serious health problems. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- Erectile dysfunction
Severe, untreated sleep apnea even increases your risk of death.
How is OSA Diagnosed?
Kleinheinz Dentistry is proud to offer a Free Sleep Study. Call our office for more information. 704-542-6003.
How is OSA Treated?
Dr. Kleinheinz can discuss treatment options with you. We will provide a FREE SLEEP STUDY at your convenience.
- Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device - worn only during sleep - to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.
Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for.
If you decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then Dr. Kleinheinz will recommend a prescription for you to receive a custom-made sleep apnea appliance. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. We prescribe and make the FDA approved appliances. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. We will do a complete benefits check upon your scheduled appointment.
Replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant offers many advantages over your other choices: a removable partial denture or fixed bridgework. A dental implant stays securely anchored in your jaw, giving you a replacement tooth that looks, feels and functions exactly like a natural tooth. A partial denture, on the other hand, needs to hook onto existing teeth. This added stress may cause the anchor teeth to become loose over time. Fixed bridgework, likewise, presents problems for the natural teeth that are used as supports: In order to hold a bridge in place, we need to prepare or file down and crown (cap) at least two natural teeth, one on either side of the space left by a missing tooth. This may cause those support teeth to become more susceptible to decay. Implants can never decay because they are made of titanium, a highly biocompatible metal.
How It Works
The titanium dental implant becomes the root-part of your missing tooth. During a minor surgical procedure, it is placed beneath the gum, into the jawbone. Over the course of a few months, it will actually become part of your jawbone by fusing to it in a process known as osseointegration. That's what makes implant teeth the most natural replacement teeth that exist today.
The implant will be capped by a dental crown that has been created to match your existing teeth. Often there is a connecting piece that goes between them called an abutment. Like the implant itself, this part won't be visible in your mouth. Only the lifelike crown can be seen.
Sometimes a temporary crown is attached at the same time as the implant is placed so that you can go home that day with a replacement tooth. More commonly, the implant is left undisturbed for several months to complete the osseointegration process before the crown is attached. We will let you know which method would work best in your case. Implants are forever, so we want to make sure it's done right!
What to Expect
The surgery to place a dental implant is a simple, routine procedure carried out under local anesthesia in the dental office. First the area will be numbed so you won't feel a thing. Then the implant will be inserted into your jaw at a precisely planned angle and position to maximize support for your new tooth and avoid anatomical structures such as nerves and sinus cavities. The surgery should take an hour or less, and post-operative discomfort should be minimal. Many patients find over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen is all that is needed; others find they don't need to take anything at all. It will be important to avoid chewing on the surgery site for several weeks; we will advise you as to any diet modifications you need to make during this time.
Once your permanent crown is attached, your new implant tooth will feel just like all your other teeth, and that's exactly how you should care for it — as if it grew there naturally. While it cannot decay, the implant's connection to your bone can be threatened by gum disease. In order to avoid this, keep up your regular oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular professional cleanings. If you keep your mouth healthy, your implant should last a lifetime.
Dental Implant Surgery Many people are surprised at how relatively easy dental implant surgery is because they let their imaginations get the better of them before they go through the actual procedure. The reality is that most patients experience no pain during the surgery and very little discomfort afterward. Let's back up and start with the basics to increase your understanding and allay any apprehension... Read Article
The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth For those missing even one tooth, an unsightly gap is actually the least significant problem. What's of far greater concern is the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Dental implants can preserve bone, improve function and enhance psychological well-being. Learn how implants serve both as anchors to support replacement teeth and preserve bone... Read Article