Inadequate sleep can have a major impact on your everyday life. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea can find themselves irritable and drowsy from waking repeatedly throughout the night, often without even realizing it. If you are seeking relief from this condition, or if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, Drs. John M. Pinnix IV and George A. Betancourt offer effective sleep apnea treatment and diagnosis at our Charlotte, NC, practice. We can often address symptoms with a simple oral appliance to help reduce your risk of developing serious complications. To schedule a consultation with us, reach out to our office today.
Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes breathing to become repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause serious complications, such as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sleep apnea can take a considerable toll on your quality of life. It can even impact your relationships. Many patients feel embarrassed about their snoring, and their partner's sleep can also suffer as a result. Others notice themselves becoming irritable or constantly fatigued. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we can determine if sleep apnea is affecting you.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Before you can seek treatment for sleep apnea, you will first need to receive a professional diagnosis. There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea (CSA) relates to complications of the central nervous system and is much less common. This type requires the attention of a specialist.
We offer treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of sleep apnea occurs when the tongue and soft palate block the airway, interfering with breathing during sleep. Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt typically recommend new patients to undergo a sleep study for proper diagnosis. During the study, a sleep specialist may use diagnostic tools to monitor your sleep at home, or you may need to stay overnight in a lab setting.
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt will take detailed images of your teeth and jaw to gather information and create a customized oral appliance. Also known as an oral splint, this mouthpiece is designed to gently reposition your lower jaw so the soft tissues of the throat do not obstruct your breathing.
Sleep apnea is twice as common in men. Risk factors for both male and female patients include excess weight, having a larger neck circumference, having a narrowed airway (often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids), and having a family history of sleep apnea. Women who are post-menopausal may also be at increased risk. Lifestyle factors such as smoking or using alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers have also been found to contribute to sleep apnea. In fact, smokers are nearly three times more likely to develop the condition than non-smokers.
Contact Our Practice Today
Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt have made it their mission to enhance each patient's quality of life through dentistry. Advancements in the treatment of sleep apnea mean you can achieve a more restful night's sleep and avoid potentially serious health complications. Contact our practice today to learn more.