The Truth About CPAPs and Sleep Apnea
Courtesy Dr. Moreau, More Smiles Dental Spa, Northshore LIVING WELL Magazine
Is your snoring killing you? Is your spouse’s snoring “killing” you? The truth is that snoring may be much more than just an aggravation for your bed partner. Snoring leads to sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can lead to a host of health problems: weight gain, lack of concentration, depression, teeth grinding and clenching, periodontal disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and worst of all––early death.
Snoring is caused by the obstruction of the airway into the lungs due to a narrow opening in the throat or when the tongue falls back towards the opening while you’re relaxed and sleeping. Sleep apnea occurs when the opening becomes completely blocked, stopping the flow of air altogether. This triggers an automatic response, which disrupts sleep and can cause you to wake up gasping for air.
The number of OSA sufferers in the U.S. is 20 million. Of those 20 million, only
10-20% are currently diagnosed and treated.
– American Sleep Apnea Association
The standard treatment of choice for most people is a continuous positive air pressure machine (CPAP). Unfortunately, the truth about CPAPs is that patient compliance is less than 50%, by most accounts. Some diagnosed patients try it and abandon the therapy after frustrating attempts; others refuse treatment because of the inconvenience, awkwardness, or lifestyle infringement of wearing the device.
One alternative that many non-compliant CPAP patients have turned to is an almost undetectable oral device, such as a Somnodent, that helps to keep the airway open. General dentists like Dr. Jim Moreau of Mandeville work with Sleep Medicine Physicians to counsel patients regarding this option. A properly fitted device, continuously monitored over time by the dentist, can help many patients overcome the deadly effects of sleep apnea where other therapies or treatments have failed.
Dr. Moreau is one of only a few dentists in this region who have combined expertise in treating jaw joint disease (TMJ) and obstructive sleep apnea. Both are diseases of craniofacial anatomy and can be closely related. For a screening exam or more information about non-surgical, FDA-approved options, call Dr. Moreau at 985-809-7645. Some medical insurance benefits may apply.