Having sleep apnea himself, and having managed hundreds of patients with sleep apnea, Dr. Perry has a great appreciation of the physical and mental impacts of sleep-disordered breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea. A lack of quality sleep and sufficient oxygenation can lead to health and mental issues that often go unchecked and continue to spiral downward. The effected often don’t realize that they aren’t sleeping well and that their body is literally being starved of oxygen.

The most important thing for Dr. Perry and his team is that people are treated, regardless of the treatment used. There are two excellent modalities for treatment; continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental devices called mandibular repositioning devices (MRD). Dr. Perry is a big believer and supporter of both therapies and suggests all of his patients have both devices on hand for treatment. That way, patients can rotate between the therapies and mitigate the negative side effects that both inherently have.

For example, if someone has a sinus infection, they will find it hard to use a CPAP, but that doesn’t mean they should go untreated for the duration of the infection. In fact, proper sleep and oxygenation will help combat the infection. So the patient can turn to their MRD during those times. If, on the other hand, the patient is having some mild jaw discomfort from wearing their MRD for an extended period of time, then they can take a break from the MRD and wear their CPAP for a while. The key is that sleep and oxygen are critical to good health and quality of life. Let us help you on the road to wellness.

What is CPAP?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) was developed in the early 1980’s and was the first viable solution for treating the CPAP examples for treating obstructive sleep apneainsidious disease of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Most physicians prescribe CPAP as a first treatment option, though many physicians now utilize dental devices as a first line of therapy for mild to moderate disease OSA. CPAP treatment consists of a pump that delivers positive air pressure to a mask that is fitted over the nose and/or the mouth. The air pressure is adjusted until the airway is forced open, much like blowing up a balloon.

Disadvantages of CPAP

CPAP is a very effective therapy WHEN it is used. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and were prescribed a CPAP by your physician, you know exactly what we mean when we say WHEN it is used; compliance is the biggest challenge with this therapy. Most people find that wearing a mask and having air pushed down their throat is a challenge. The problems patients complain about from CPAP therapy are very real and often difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

A partial list of the most common patient complaints from CPAP:

  • Mask leaks
  • An inability to get the mask to fit properly
  • Discomfort or interrupted sleep caused by the presence of the device
  • Noise from the device disturbing sleep or bed partner’s sleep
  • CPAP restricted movements during sleep
  • CPAP does not seem to be effective
  • Pressure on the upper lip causes tooth related problems
  • Latex allergy
  • Claustrophobic associations
  • An unconscious need to remove the CPAP apparatus at night

CPAP Alternative: Mandibular Repositioning Devices (MRD)

The key element to successful sleep apnea treatment is an opening of the airway. The airway is most commonly closed due to laxity of the airway itself during sleep and negative pressure created upon inhalation, which makes it collapse. During the day, the muscles that line the airway keep it open, but at night those muscles become more relaxed and may allow the airway to close upon itself. The other major culprit is the tongue itself. The tongue is a huge muscle that fills the entire lower jaw (the mandible) and originates from deep in the throat. The tongue can physically block the opening of the airway very easily.

This is where mandibular repositioning devices (MRD) come into play. The device gently moves the lower jaw forward, physically bringing with it the tongue so that it doesn’t fall back and block the airway. It also supplements the job of the muscles that line the airway by spatially widening the airway itself. The result is a much wider airway and more continuous flow of air and life-giving oxygen.

Disadvantages of MRD

Here are a few minor, though important to recognize, disadvantages of MRD’s.

  • First of all, it takes a little getting used to. If it is your first time wearing an MRD, you may feel a little funny with all the material in your mouth. Our patients routinely comment that after the first few nights, they simply put the device in, fall asleep and don’t wake up until the morning.
  • The device fits intimately to your teeth so it is very important that your oral health be stable. If you have gum disease or active cavities, they should really be addressed prior to fabrication of a device that is relying upon the teeth for support. This is another reason why Dr. Perry’s philosophy of having both CPAP and MRD’s available is great. You can wear your CPAP while your oral health is
    stabilized and your MRD is being fabricated.
  • Since the device gently brings your jaw forward you may feel some tension or pain in your jaw joint. This is usually transient and well controlled by adjusting the device, but is another a good reason to have CPAP on hand to change out when needed.

Contact Perry Dental Health for more Information

No one treatment fits every patient. Dr. Perry and his team’s primary goal is the health and well-being of our patients. We want to be your resource and advocate for treatment of your snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Perry understands, first-hand, how the management of these conditions can improve one’s quality of life. Please don’t feel that we are here solely to “sell” you a dental device. If you are doing well with CPAP, that’s great! We are here to help you manage your condition and show you adjunctive treatments. The best way you can thank us is to let your friends and family know that we helped improve your quality of life. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask us questions!!! You can reach Perry Dental Health dental office in San Antonio today at (210) 377-3779.

Learn about Sleep Apnea

When you visit our San Antonio dentist office, locally known as one of the top family dentistry in our area, to brighten your smile with whiter teeth, you’ll be presented with either in-office or at-home teeth whitening procedures. The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This teeth whitening procedure is performed in our San Antonio dental office. During an appointment, your gentle dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes and you will be able to see results immediately. Plastic whitening trays will be made from models of your teeth. You will then place a special whitening gel in each tray and wear the trays in your mouth for several hours per day. (Many San Antonio patients wear their teeth whitening trays after dinner and before bed.) A significant change in tooth color is usually seen in just four to six weeks by our San Antonio patients.

Are there different types
of sleep apnea?

The most common for of sleep apnea is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and occurs due to a physical blockage — usually the collapsing of the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Less common is central sleep apnea (CSA), in which breathing stops because the muscles involved don’t receive the proper signal from the brain. And some people suffer from “mixed” or “complex” sleep apnea, which is a combination of obstructive and central.Your bed partner can lose up to an hour of sleep each night due to your snoring (that’s over 15 days per year!)

What are the signs of sleep apnea?

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of sleep apnea. If you notice one or more of these, contact our practice.

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day

The Facts on Snoring and Sleep Apnea:

One in two adults snore
One in four adults has sleep apnea
Fewer than 10% have been diagnosed

Sleep Apnea San Antonio Treatment

At Perry Dental Health in San Antonio, we provide sleep apnea treatments that will meet the needs of each individual. As a sufferer of sleep apnea himself, Dr. Perry understands how difficult it can be to deal with this disorder and the problems that come with traditional treatments, which is why he offers CPAP alternatives – a recommended sleep apnea treatment in San Antonio such as Mandibular Repositioning Devices (MRD), as well as combination therapies. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep-disorder and the team at Perry Dental Health is committed to helping you find the best available treatment. Don’t suffer from sleep apnea any longer, make an appointment with Dr. Perry by calling Perry Dental Health today at (210) 377-3779.

Risk factors and treatments

Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in males than females, and more common in older adults (40+) than younger adults and children. However, anyone — regardless of gender or age — can suffer from sleep apnea. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, drinking, use of sedatives or tranquilizers, and family history. Central sleep apnea strikes most often in people with heart disorders, neuromuscular disorders, strokes, or brain tumors. It is also more common in males.

 

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart failure and stroke. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by sleep apnea can lead to problems at work or school, as well as danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medication or surgery: sedation by anesthesia can be risky, as can lying flat in bed after an operation. If you know or suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, let your family doctor know before you take prescription medication or undergoing surgery.

 

Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case, and the type of apnea. Treatment options include Dental Device Therapy, CPAP, surgery, positional therapy and, weight loss.

 

Contact our practice. Dr. Perry can discuss which therapy is best for your situation. A sleep study is necessary to determine the severity of apnea or snoring. If a dental device is determined to be most effective method of treatment, one can be custom-fabricated for you.

If you or a family member have sleep apnea, and cannot tolerate the use of the CPAP machine, a dental device may be the preferred treatment. Learn more about the CPAP Alternatives available at Perry Dental Health in San Antonio, or make an appointment with Dr. Perry today by calling (210) 714-1374 today.

 

FAQ

Sleep Questionnaire — Should You See A Specialist?
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired?
Use this scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = no chance of dozing

1 = slight chance of dozing

2 = moderate chance of dozing

3 = high chance of dozing

Situation
text
Sitting and Reading
Watching TV
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic
Total
Chance of dozing
3
2
1
0

Evaluating Your Sleepiness Score

1 – 6: Congratulations, you are getting enough sleep!

7 – 8: Your score is average

9 and up: Seek the advice of a sleep specialist without delay

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