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Sleep Apnea and Airway Therapy

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Arkansas

Has the couch become your second bed because you snore so much and so loudly that those around you can’t get any sleep? And for that matter, you are still waking up tired and unrested? It is possible that you could have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Basically, the flow of air to your lungs pauses and decreases while you sleep because the airway has become narrow or blocked. When the muscles in your throat relax during sleep, breathing can stop for short time periods, this is called apnea.


Sleep apnea illustration

Source: Mayo Clinic

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed instances of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Waking up abruptly by choking or gasping
  • Waking up with dry mouth or sore throat
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Nighttime sweats
  • Forgetfulness

Sleep apnea has been shown to affect men more than women, but it can affect anyone. Specific factors that contribute to the risk are:

  • Over the age of 40
  • Obesity
  • Large tonsils, tongue or small jaw
  • Large neck
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Nasal blockage due to deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

Treatments are recommended based on a patient’s specific case and needs and the severity of the apnea. Treatments include:

  • Sleep habit adjustments – such as not sleeping on your back.
  • Lifestyle changes – such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol.
  • Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP machine) – a device that supplies air through the nose to keep airways open while sleeping.
  • Oral appliances – such as mouthguards.
  • Surgery – such as upper airway surgery if other treatments are unsuccessful.

At Rock Family Dental, our dentists can examine your mouth, neck and throat and recommend a sleep study or other tests to confirm the obstructive sleep apnea. From there, treatment options will be discussed.