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Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment

Many people snore occasionally when they are sleeping. However, when snoring constantly accompanies sleep, it can be a symptom of a more serious sleep disorder. Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million Americans and can have serious health risks. It is often left undiagnosed and untreated. With proper diagnosis and treatment from a qualified dentist, patients with sleep apnea can greatly reduce their health risks, stop snoring and improve their quality of sleep.

Dr. Wayne Suway is one of a select group of master dentists, with over 30 years practicing advanced dentistry. One of his areas of expertise is obstructive sleep apnea, offering advanced diagnostic and treatment methods. Residents living in the greater Atlanta area, including Marietta and East Cobb, can find relief from snoring and sleep apnea by scheduling an exam with Dr. Suway at our clinic.

Sleep apnea is a disorder where the affected person stops breathing during sleep. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is when the airway becomes blocked by oral tissues or the tongue. Snoring occurs when a partial blockage is present. When a complete airway blockage occurs, there can be oxygen deprivation for a minute or longer. These episodes can occur hundreds of times per night, putting stress on the cardiovascular system and interrupting REM sleep.

What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can go undiagnosed for many years. Since it occurs when sleeping, many people do not know they are at risk. Snoring is the most noticeable symptom, but many people snore and do not have OSA. There is usually a combination of symptoms that are present, depending on the severity of the condition. Some common signs of OSA include:

  • Fatigue and drowsiness, even after a full night of sleep
  • Snoring and gasping during sleep
  • Frequently waking during sleep
  • Memory and mental clarity issues
  • Morning headaches
  • Acid reflux
  • Sexual dysfunction

The signs of sleep apnea are actually symptoms of sleep deprivation. Every time the airway is blocked, REM sleep can be interrupted. Even if a person does not completely wake up, the quality of their sleep is diminished. What is more concerning is that the constant stress from oxygen deprivation can cause high blood pressure and lead to higher risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and sudden cardiac death.

Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Diagnosing sleep apnea requires a professional evaluation. Dr. Suway has the expertise needed to determine whether a patient has OSA or just is a chronic snorer. To provide a diagnosis for sleep apnea, Dr. Suway uses a questionnaire of symptoms and performs a physical oral exam. If he believes a patient may have sleep apnea, an at-home sleep study unit to measure and monitor sleep and breathing patterns will be used. This comprehensive approach ensures Dr. Suway can accurately diagnose OSA and create a treatment plan to help alleviate health risks, snoring and other symptoms.

Non-Invasive Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Dr. Suway uses the dorsal appliance for sleep apnea treatment. This intraoral device is much less invasive than wearing a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device, which is effective but too intrusive for many people to use. The dorsal appliance is similar to a mouthguard and is customized to be comfortable and allow normal mouth movement. The device stops snoring and helps keep the airway open to reduce the health risk and symptoms of sleep apnea.

If you live in Marietta or East Cobb and suffer from chronic snoring, schedule an appointment with Dr. Suway to determine whether you have sleep apnea. We offer effective treatments for snoring and sleep apnea to give you relief.