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If breathing disruptions or loud snoring are affecting your sleep quality, it can have a long-term impact on your wellbeing. When faced with the symptoms of sleep apnea in Virginia Beach, many patients find relief at the dentist’s office. Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment for this common sleep disorder.
What is the Dental Condition Sleep Apnea?
In the medical field, “apnea” simply means a temporary disruption in breathing. When this happens while sleeping, the amount of oxygen your body receives is limited. This can lead to choking sensations while asleep, snoring, and other issues that disturb your sleep. While any person can be affected by the condition, it is more common in people over 40.
What Are the Typical Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
You may be wondering, “Do I have sleep apnea?” The following signs and symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional:
- Frequent loud snoring
- Gasping for air or choking during sleep
- Headaches after waking up
- Sleepiness throughout the day
- Waking up with a sore throat or mouth dryness
Sleep Apnea Causes
The throat muscles typically remain stiff during the day, allowing air to flow easily into the lungs. When this disorder occurs, the throat muscles become too relaxed during sleep, obstructing airflow. These factors may increase the risk of apnea:
- Being overweight or obese
- Male gender
- Family history of sleep disorders
- A neck circumference of over 16 inches
How Do Dentists Provide Sleep Apnea Treatment?
If your case is mild, you may be able to alleviate symptoms through weight loss or learning to sleep on your side. A mild to moderate case also can be treated with a sleep apnea mouth guard, which repositions the jaw and tongue to promote airflow. Some patients with severe apnea will require surgery to correct the positioning of the soft palate. If you suspect sleep apnea in Virginia Beach, call our practice to make an appointment. Our dentists will evaluate your symptoms and determine whether oral appliance therapy is right for you.
Oral Appliance Therapy
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves using a custom-fitted device to keep the jaw and tongue in a forward position. An oral appliance for sleep apnea in Virginia Beach is only worn while sleeping and is similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouthguard. With the appliance in place, your airway will be expanded and you may be able to sleep more comfortably.
How Much Does an Oral Appliance Cost?
The cost of your device will depend on the type selected, your insurance coverage, and how many follow-up appointments are necessary. If you have questions about the cost of oral appliance therapy, give us a call for more information.
What Benefits Are Provided by Oral Appliance Therapy?
Using an oral appliance for sleep apnea provides multiple health benefits. Many of our patients receiving this treatment enjoy how easy the appliance is to use and clean. Plus, oral appliances are small and portable, making them ideal for traveling. Another benefit of oral appliance therapy is that it is non-invasive, allowing dentists to treat sleep apnea without the need for surgery.
Does My Insurance Cover Oral Appliance Therapy?
Many providers offer coverage for a sleep apnea mouthpiece, which allows patients to lower their out-of-pocket expenses. We encourage our patients to speak with their provider to determine what coverage options are available. Our dentists and team members are dedicated to helping you find an affordable solution. If you have questions about payment or insurance, contact us for more information.