February 10, 2018
Sleep apnea is already a dangerous condition on its own. However, some of the more severe cases involve more frequent instances of very loud snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, severe mood swings, and many other symptoms. Some cases are so severe that people are considering surgery to their palate, tongue, and nasal cavities.
While surgery treatments exist for sleep apnea, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Surgery might accomplish cases of sleep apnea, but it isn’t the only option. If you have sleep apnea in Jacksonville, you should take a moment to consider the less invasive treatments available before going under the knife.
Why Other Methods Should Be Considered First
While surgery may sound like an appealing option at first, you may be surprised at how low the success rate is. In fact, sleep apnea surgery only has a 25% to 30% success rate. While patients may report better sleeping initially, after a few months they noticed many of their symptoms come back. What was once loud snoring turned into a minor whistling, and eventually loud snoring again.
Additionally, you’ll need to go through a healing process just like any other surgery, even if it wasn’t successful. Unless you have another reason to have surgery, such as an issue in your palate or nasal cavity unrelated to sleep apnea, you should consider these options from your dentist in Jacksonville first.
The CPAP Machine Solves Sleep Apnea
The continuous positive airway pressure machine is considered the gold standard for treating and managing obstructive sleep apnea. Based on all current studies, the CPAP machine is the most effective treatment, so you’ll want to try it before undergoing surgery, which creates more permanent changes to your body.
The way it works is quite simple. Basically, it gently forces air through your airway, overcoming any obstructions. This is done through a mask that is worn while sleeping. While it’s incredibly effective, some people have trouble wearing the mask at night. If you can’t tolerate wearing the mask or the attachments that come with it, consider another option.
Oral Appliances Designed to Treat Sleep Apnea
Another alternative to sleep apnea treatment is through the use of oral appliances. Instead of a machine pushing air directly into your airway, this device works to reposition the parts of your body that obstruct breathing during sleep.
Soft tissues in the mouth and throat can easily block the airway, but oral appliances shift the jaw forward and gently stretch your soft tissues, allowing air to pass through safely. If you’re considering an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea in Jacksonville, you’ll want to meet with your dentist who can refer you to a sleep physician and obtain a diagnosis.
Once all your health professionals determine a dental appliance is the best option, your dentist will customize one just for you. If you currently have sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist in Jacksonville today!
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Johnson works with many local physicians who specialize in diagnosing sleep apnea. This allows him to provide patients the most accurate diagnosis possible. He is also the owner of a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and continues his post-grad education through a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry. To learn more about his practice and sleep apnea treatments, contact him at (904) 751-4958 or visit his website.
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