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How Oral Appliance Therapy Can Aid Your Sleep Apnea

Do you snore? Do you wake up several times a night? Are you fatigued, have fuzzy concentration, or see your blood pressuring rising? If so, you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, a common sleep disorder among American adults. Here at Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO, Dr. Steven Wilk uses oral appliance therapy to manage patients' sleep apnea symptoms. Sleep well again!
Who has sleep apnea?
The National Sleep Foundation says 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. Men and women alike suffer from sleep apnea. It used to be thought that you need to be overweight but studies show that is not the case. There are many young fit men and women who suffer from OSA. They report excessive snoring, disrupted sleep, and even systemic health issues such as:

  • Poor memory
  • Hypertension
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • Diabetes
  • Sexual dysfunction

What causes sleep apnea?
Most sleep apnea is OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. It stems from excessive soft tissue at the back of the throat. As you sleep, this tissue relaxes and covers the airway, stopping respiration and depriving the brain of oxygen.
Other people suffer from more complex central sleep apnea, or CSA, which is brain-based. Additionally, some patients have mixed sleep apnea, which exhibits features of the other two. In any case, sleep apnea requires a diagnosis by a sleep physician in the Denver, CO, area.
Treating sleep apnea
There are two typical treatment options for sleep apnea: CPAP and Oral Appliance Therapy. Most sleep doctors recommend CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. This bedside machine delivers air through a hose and facial mask worn during the night. Unfortunately, many individuals don't like CPAP for many reasons including claustrophobia, intimacy, getting air in their belly or cumbersome traveling. Sometimes a significant other dislike the noise of the machine itself. Compliance with sleep apnea therapy really depends on how convenient and effective that treatment is.
Oral appliance therapy
At the Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders, your sleep dentist, Dr. Steven Wilk, offers customized oral appliances. These comfortable acrylic devices fit in the palm of your hand and do something very simple: they gently move the lower jaw into a natural position to keep the airway open. Rather than using pressurized air, these devices allow for natural breathing. Worn consistently every night, the appliance manages OSA and it's symptoms. People experience far less snoring, and their overall health and well-being improve dramatically.
Sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Change your direction and your sleep habits—phone Dr. Steven Wilk at the Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO, for your free sleep apnea consultation. We are open Monday through Thursday at 7:30 am. Call (303) 758-4865.

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