If someone in your home snores, you know how annoying that can be. If you are the snorer, you are not getting the healthy night’s rest that your body needs. But snoring is frequently an indicator of a much more serious problem: obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Along with snoring, some indicators of OSA are:
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Feeling “foggy,” disoriented or unable to concentrate
- Depression or anxiety
- The inability to lose weight
- Restless legs syndrome
Your regular physician should be the one to diagnose you with sleep apnea. But at Suburban Dental Medicine, our dentist and team offer sleep medicine in Elgin, Illinois, and can provide you with an initial screening and discuss your treatment options with you.
If left untreated, OSA can result in serious health issues, not the least of which is the risk of sudden cardiac death. Additionally, people who suffer from asthma or COPD have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 and patients who live with OSA or cardio issues are at an 11-12% higher risk of dying from the virus.
Dr. Rubina Nguyen is board-certified in sleep medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and a co-founder of S.C.A.R.F. Dr. Nguyen will work with you to find the right solution for your sleep disorder to improve your general well-being. As a dentist, Dr. Nguyen has an excellent understanding of the upper airway and its anatomy and can create your custom treatment plan.
In the past, most OSA disorders were treated with CPAP. This is also known as continuous positive airway pressure therapy and forces air into the nose and throat via a face mask attached to a machine. Unfortunately, many patients find this type of therapy uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping while using it. While we can help provide you with CPAP therapy, there are other options available.
Our dentist can also provide you with an FDA-approved oral appliance to wear while you sleep. This is a very comfortable and noninvasive option that can move your tongue into a better position as you rest and help keep the soft tissues of your airway from collapsing as they relax. Some of the benefits of oral appliance therapy include:
- Covered by most medical insurances
- Easy to use and comfortable to wear
- Easy to travel with
- Improves sleep and daytime functioning
- Easier to comply with than CPAP
- Less snoring (better sleep for a partner!)
In some cases, OSA can be addressed through surgery. However, this option is rarely used and is often the treatment of last resort.
If you or someone in your family snores, or if you notice any of the symptoms of OSA, please contact Suburban Dental Medicine at 847-854-3031 as soon as possible. If you are concerned about the cost, we are a Medicare DME provider and can file Medicare benefits for our treatments, including an oral appliance.