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Snoring & Sleep Apnea Therapy – Norman, OK

Breathe Easier While Sleeping Better

A man asleep with his mouth open

Snoring is an annoying condition that can disrupt the sleep of everyone in your household. But it's also more than that - snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea in Norman, and without proper treatment, it can lead to health complications and result in a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and even death. To combat this potentially dangerous condition, Dr. Carmen offers non-surgical therapy with a custom-fitted snoreguard to restore healthy function and peaceful slumber.

What is Sleep Apnea?

A man asleep while his wife puts her hands over her ears

Sleep apnea is defined as repeated lapses in breathing for periods of ten seconds or more. When the brain detects a lack of airflow, it triggers the body to wake up and breathe. Sufferers may enter a lighter sleep stage or fully awaken. Causes of sleep apnea include relaxation of airways, small air passageways, and tongue position during sleep.

It’s important to note that the continuous rise and fall of your heart rate throughout the night is most certainly not good for your overall health. Whether you experience a lapse in breathing once or a hundred times each night, waking suddenly and gasping for air can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Common Signs and Symptoms

A woman rubbing her temples because of pain

Some people with sleep apnea may experience a wide range of symptoms. Others may only show one or two signs. No matter how many of the following signs and symptoms you exhibit, it’s highly encouraged that you contact our office to find out how you can go about receiving an official diagnosis.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Chronic fatigue and daytime drowsiness
  • Forgetfulness or memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Loss of libido
  • Morning headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Insomnia

Although snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, the two are not necessarily related.

Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

A man reaching for his heart

Should you avoid seeking treatment for your sleep apnea, you are putting yourself at grave risk of developing serious health conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Negative cognitive brain function

How a Dentist Can Help

A woman in bed holding an oral appliance

Fortunately, sleep apnea no longer has to be something you “just live with.” While you’ve more than likely heard of CPAP therapy, there is an alternative solution for patients who have difficulty maneuvering the bulky machinery or who experience discomfort while wearing a facial mask.

Your dentist in Norman treats sleep apnea and snoring with custom oral appliances commonly referred to as snoreguards. The snoreguard works by keeping airways open to eliminate lapses in breathing and stop snoring. You’ll get the restorative sleep you need – and deserve!

Oral appliances are proving to be a much more beneficial and effective method of treatment because of their small, portable, and compact design. Not only does it make it a more comfortable experience while you sleep, but you can now take your oral device when you travel, enabling you to get the rest you need while worrying less.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Frequently asked questions about sleep apnea treatment in Norman

If you need sleep apnea treatment in Norman, you probably have several concerns about the road ahead, but you don’t have anything to fear. We’ll explain everything during your initial consultation, so you can feel confident about your treatment plan. To help ease your apprehensions until your appointment, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions patients ask us about sleep apnea.

Can I treat sleep apnea on my own?

Unfortunately, sleep apnea will not go away on its own. You need a qualified sleep dentist for an effective treatment, like a CPAP or oral appliance; however, there are certain changes you can make to breathe better. When combined with the right therapy, lifestyle changes can improve your sleep apnea symptoms, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime.

Am I a candidate for oral appliance therapy?

Although a CPAP is the most traditional treatment for sleep apnea, many patients are candidates for oral appliance therapy. The custom-fit device repositions the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open to prevent pauses in breathing. When used consistently, it can provide a significant improvement in sleep apnea symptoms. Often, an oral appliance is recommended for people in the following situations:

  • Intolerant of a CPAP machine.
  • Don’t get the relief they need using a CPAP alone.
  • Travel frequently.

Can I use my dental insurance to pay for sleep apnea therapy?

While you visit a dentist for sleep apnea treatment, we don’t use your dental insurance to cover the cost. Instead, your treatment is billed under your medical insurance. Every policy is unique, but most plans include sleep apnea therapy. We will work on your behalf with your insurance company, so you have one less thing to worry about. We’ll maximize your benefits to lower the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket. You can breathe easier knowing you won’t have a large bill.

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

There are 3 main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: It is caused by the soft tissues in the back of the mouth or throat collapsing to block the airway. It’s the most common form of the condition.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: The brain fails to send the correct signals to the muscles responsible for regulating breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea: It results when there is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Does snoring mean I have sleep apnea?

Everyone snores occasionally, like when dealing with nasal congestion; however, if the problem is ongoing, it might indicate a larger problem. Snoring and sleep apnea often go hand in hand. The sounds you hear while you’re sleeping are caused by vibrations as air moves over the soft tissues in the back of your mouth and throat. If there is an obstruction, snoring is a persistent complaint. As a result, it’s best to see a medical professional right away if you have chronic snoring to ensure sleep apnea isn’t the cause.

Call Us Today

Call today to reserve your snoreguard or sleep apnea consultation with Norman dentist Dr. Bobby Carmen. Patients from Norman, Moore, the University of Oklahoma, Central Oklahoma, and beyond visit us for quality dental care.