Dental Associates of Florida - Lutz
23641 Hwy 54, Lutz, FL 33559
Did you know that individuals who have untreated obstructive sleep apnea are two and a half times as likely to be in a motor vehicle accident? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, driving with untreated OSA is just like driving drunk.
OSA occurs when you stop breathing multiple times each hour because your airway is obstructed by collapsed soft tissues in your throat or by your tongue. You will not breathe for 10 seconds or more until you start gasping for air. You also will not get the REM sleep that you need to stay alert all day.
What Sleep Apnea Symptoms Could Cause Me to Get in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
OSA will cause you to feel extremely tired and you will be unable to pay attention, which is dangerous when you are driving or working with machinery. You will wake up with a pounding headache and be irritable all day as well. If you can hardly stay awake even after getting seven or more hours of sleep, consult your doctor. It is important to rule out other causes for your fatigue, but if your doctor suspects OSA, he or she can order a sleep test for confirmation.
Sleep apnea causes that put you at a greater risk for developing the sleep disorder include:
Your sleep doctor may recommend that you use a CPAP machine, which provides a continuous airflow through a mask that keeps your airway open. Long-term compliance rates hover at about 50 percent for CPAP machines; patients cite the mask as the reason they do not use their machine. Our dentist can provide you with a sleep apnea mouthpiece, or a mandibular advancement appliance, that moves your lower jaw forward slightly, which keeps your airway open. If these sleep apnea treatment options are not effective, surgery is an option.
Dieting is also an option for overweight individuals with OSA. Studies show that weight loss reduces apnea frequencies, although it does not eliminate them completely.
A sleep apnea mouth guard looks like a sports mouth guard. There are clear and colored ones that provide unobtrusive OSA treatment. Many patients find sleeping with an apnea mouth guard is comfortable and easier to get used to that a CPAP machine mask, since the oral appliance is custom-made from a mold of your teeth.
You would need to come in for a consultation with our sleep dentist before we can give you an estimated cost for your appliance. Our dentist will review your diagnosis and examine your mouth to determine which oral appliance is right for you. Make an appointment today for your consultation.
If you have sleep apnea in Lutz, therapy with an oral appliance can improve your sleep quality. Patients who use an oral appliance enjoy how easy it is to use their appliance. It is portable, which is beneficial if you travel frequently. To learn more about oral appliance therapy, call our office to arrange an appointment.
Medical insurance typically covers oral appliance therapy; however, coverage does vary between health insurance providers. Check your policy for details.