Sleep is an important and fundamental part of our life. It’s estimated that we spend between 25%-35% of our lives sleeping. When we are asleep, our brains and bodies have time to rest and recover from the stress of daily life. The lack of sleep associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can not only leave you tired, but can lead to health concerns, as well. OSA occurs when breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Although sleep apnea is treatable, it often goes undiagnosed; it is believed that one in 15 people in the United States is dealing with some form of sleep apnea. Learning how to identify the warning signs of sleep apnea and how to treat it is where Drs. Kingery & Kingery can help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Sleep Apnea – When Should You Be Concerned?
Dr. Mary Kingery is a certified sleep dentist, treating patients for sleep apnea. “There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), that happens when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. These pauses in breathing typically last 10-20 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night, jolting you out of a natural sleep that you need to live a healthy life – mentally alert and productive the next day,” said Dr. Kingery. Left untreated, this type of chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, insomnia, poor concentration and slower reflexes. Sleep apnea has also been linked to serious health issues over time like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, increased stroke risk, weight gain and depression/irritability. The good news is once diagnosed, with the correct treatment, you can control the symptoms and get your sleep back on track.
Is It Just Snoring?
“At Kingery & Kingery, we do routine screenings of our patients, asking them if they snore, are tired, have trouble sleeping or if their sleep partner has noticed any changes in their sleep,” said Dr. Kingery. “Should we be concerned about a possible sleep apnea issue, we refer them to a specialist for an evaluation. A family history and symptoms would be discussed with the patient and perhaps followed by a home sleep study. Depending upon the results, a PSG (polysomnogram) might be performed to study the brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and blood pressure. A PSG also records the amount of oxygen in the blood, air movement through the nose while breathing, snoring and chest movements, showing whether an effort is being made to breathe. CPAP therapy is considered the “Gold Standard” for sleep apnea treatment. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP, is a machine that delivers air pressure to keep the airway open. If a patient cannot tolerate CPAP and/or is not compliant in using it, that is where we come in, offering an alternative that is FDA approved to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. If a patient is referred to us who is CPAP intolerant, we set up an appointment for a complete evaluation to see if the appliance that we would fabricate would be an alternative to CPAP therapy.”
Dr. Mary and the team at Kingery & Kingery work closely with medical doctors and specialists in the area in treating patients with sleep apnea. “There are some lifestyle changes that can help with sleep apnea. Sometimes changes in diet and exercise can alleviate some of the symptoms of sleep apnea or relieve them entirely. But, once diagnosed, monitoring is important to be sure that the condition is managed,” said Dr. Kingery. “Should a CPAP alternative be needed, I take impressions of the patient’s mouth and an appliance is fashioned in the SomnoDent® laboratory, which when used by the patient, will hold the jaw in the proper position during sleep. SomnoDent® has been credited with eliminating both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in many cases. Restorative sleep is so important to overall health, and we can help you get the good night’s sleep you’ve been missing.”
Kingery & Kingery is located at 2554 Lewisville-Clemmons Road in Clemmons. For more information on sleep apnea, visit www.kingerysmiles.com or call 336.766.0511.