How to Treat Sleep Apnea

Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

According to estimates, about 22 million Americans are living with sleep apnea. Why are these figures just estimated? Because, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 80 percent of moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea never get diagnosed.

Living with untreated sleep apnea is dangerous. It increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic and possibly fatal ailments. Sleep apnea also is a severe medical condition that will not go away on its own. You need treatment from a qualified medical professional. Read on for more information on how Nashville’s physiological dentist, Dr. Brian Devine, treats sleep apnea in Middle Tennessee.

how to treat sleep apnea

The Challenge of Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Unless your partner notices you snoring loudly or gasping for air while asleep, it can be difficult for even an experienced physician to identify sleep apnea. Symptoms can vary. Children and adolescents, for instance, often exhibit signs of sleep apnea that is similar to attention or behavioral disorders like ADD or ADHD.

Dr. Devine treats sleep apnea by addressing the airway restriction. He can assess your airway to detect if there is an obstruction. From there, he can provide treatment best suited for your needs.

Our Philosophy on CPAP

CPAP is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to treating sleep apnea. CPAP, an abbreviation for continuous positive airway pressure, entails wearing a mask connected to a machine that produces a constant flow of air. A patient with sleep apnea wears the mask when sleeping, and the machine pumps air into the airway, maintaining an open airway throughout the night.

Despite its widespread use, CPAP is not for everyone. According to one study, 83 percent of patients who use a CPAP to treat sleep apnea eventually become non-compliant, which only makes the disorder worse.

Common complaints of CPAP users include:

  • Difficulty using and/or maintaining the machine
  • Discomfort wearing the mask, due to skin irritation
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Having difficulty sleeping because of the noise generated by the machine
  • Being embarrassed to use the machine
  • Inconvenient when traveling

Some sleep apnea patients believe CPAP is the only treatment option available and, as a result, do not seek treatment at all. However, Dr. Devine, a sleep apnea dentist in Nashville, offers an alternative to treating sleep apnea. We understand that wearing a CPAP to treat sleep apnea is not preferred for many sufferers, which is why TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville offers a simple solution to your snoring.

How We Treat Sleep Apnea

TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville opt to treat sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. We provide each patient with a custom-made mandibular advancement appliance, which slightly realigns the lower jaw in its ideal forward resting position. Aligning the jaw in this way helps maintain an open airway throughout the night, preventing the blockages that lead to sleep apnea attacks.

Our custom-made sleep apnea appliances are unique. We use impressions of your mouth to make sure yours is designed for maximum fit, effectiveness, and comfort. We also make our mandibular advancement devices using higher-quality materials than what you find in any store-bought anti-snoring mouth guard.

The Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

  • Minimally Invasive – The oral appliance fits over your teeth and can be worn comfortably throughout the night.
  • Convenient – Your oral appliance can be stored in a small case that fits into a pocket or briefcase. That makes it a breeze if you are always on the go or traveling. Plus, you never have to worry about it making noise or needing a plug, like with a CPAP.
  • Cost-Effective – In many cases, medical insurance covers the cost of an oral appliance for sleep apnea. If you have any questions about the limits of your coverage, contact the administrative staff at our office for assistance.
  • It Works – Oral appliance therapy has a higher success and compliance rate than using a CPAP machine.

Make sure that you are educated about sleep apnea, its risks, and its warning signs. Read the answers to some of our frequently asked questions about sleep apnea. As for the effects of sleep apnea, we feel it is important for our patients to understand the potentially serious consequences of sleep-breathing disorders and how living with chronic sleep loss negatively impacts health.

Treating Sleep Apnea in Nashville

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. You can trust TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville to treat your sleep apnea so that you can start getting the quality, restful sleep that you have been denied for so long. Ready to find out more? Schedule your consultation today by calling our office at (615) 329-1854.

TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville offers sleep apnea treatment in Nashville, Green Hills, and Belle Meade, TN.