Get Effective Sleep Apnea Treatments at La Costa Dental in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas.
Sleep apnea is one of the three most common sleep disorders affecting people in the U.S., and while awareness of this condition continues to spread, many patients still don’t know enough about this disorder to seek diagnosis and treatment when necessary. At La Costa Dental, our skilled dentists have completed advanced training to help patients with the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. While many patients don’t consider visiting the dentist for this sleep disorder, as specialists in the function of the oral and facial structures, we’re actually a great resource to help you understand and treat your condition. If you want to find out more about how we can help south Texas patients, call to schedule a sleep apnea consultation in one of our five convenient locations. You can find La Costa Dental offices in Corpus Christi on Kostoryz Road, Ayers Street, and Leopard Street. We also have practices in Port Arthur and Beaumont.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. There are two main types of this sleep disorder – central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is rare. It occurs when the brain fails to trigger the body to breathe in and out during sleep. CSA typically requires treatment from a skilled neurologist and/or surgeon. Without effective treatment, this sleep disorder can be dangerous, so it’s important to seek proper intervention as soon as possible. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is much more common and there are several, simple treatment options available to improve quantity and quality of sleep for patients with OSA, including oral appliance therapy from the skilled dentistry team at La Costa Dental.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
It’s especially important for patients who are at a higher risk for sleep apnea to be aware of the common warning signs. Those patients considered high risk include:
- Patients over the age of 50
- Anyone with a BMI greater than 35 kg/m2
- Women with neck circumference greater than 16 inches and men with neck circumference greater than 17 inches
- Patients who have relatives who suffer from sleep apnea
Dental Sleep Apnea Therapies
Many patients don’t think of visiting the dentist when it comes to treating sleep apnea, but dentists actually have advanced training that allows them to completely understand the interworking of the oral and facial structures. That includes the function of the airway. We use custom crafted oral appliances to shift the jaw forward. This places pressure on the throat muscles to keep the airway clear during sleep. We can also partner with your sleep doctor to create combined CPAP and oral appliance therapy to improve your quantity and quality of sleep.
Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea are extremely varied. That’s why so many patients with this sleep disorder are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Please let our team know right away if you experience any combination of the common warning signs of sleep apnea, including:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Waking choking, gasping, or wheezing
- Morning dry mouth
- Waking with hoarse voice or losing voice
- Chronic morning headaches or migraines
- Waking with ringing in ears or earache
- Severe daytime exhaustion even after receiving plenty of sleep
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering details
- Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
What To Expect?
Your level of risk will be assessed in the office by completing a brief sleep questionnaire. Depending on the results, the doctor or staff may recommend that you schedule a consultation with our Sleep Specialist.
For your convenience, we offer a FREE no-obligation consultation.
Since most of the symptoms of sleep apnea can only be identified during your sleep, the doctor may prescribe an at-home sleep test.
Our sleep tests are inexpensive, covered by most insurance companies, and interpreted by board certified sleep physicians. Test results will be reviewed in person during your next appointment.
Treatment Options for OSA
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a machine that uses a steady stream of air to keep your airway open throughout the night so you are able to breathe. Masks and machines may vary depending on your treatment.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is a device that fits in your mouth over your teeth. It may resemble a sports mouth guard. The device prevents the airway from collapsing by holding your jaw forward, thus enlarging the upper airway.
OSA may be a life threatening condition.