Sleep apnea often causes snoring, which is one of the most common afflictions facing Americans, today and we see our fair share of this common ailment in Palm Harbor. Equally true, those seeking information and treatment are often motivated by social reasons, i.e. the well-being of a loved one.
Whether for medical reasons or out of concern for a partner’s comfort, more and more Americans are seeking treatment for snoring and sleep apnea. Fortunately, the advent of new, non-invasive treatments can bring immediate, long-term relief to those who are proactive in dealing with the very real consequences chronic snoring creates. Snoring is more common among men and snoring generally worsens with age. There is no medication for snoring.
The severity of one’s snoring dictates what if any medical risks exist and what form of treatment is required, if any. From those with infrequent, mild snoring episodes to those who face nightly bouts of heavy snoring, apnea and struggling for breath, there is an answer for each.
For the minority of those who snore that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or obstructed breathing while sleeping, health risks include the increased likelihood of high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, the consequences of ignoring the condition can lead to numerous, negative changes in lifestyle. These include, excessive sleepiness during the day, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and excess irritability, to name just a few. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from any of the above conditions, contact Dr. Paul Caputo, a Comprehensive Dentist in Palm Harbor, today.
Intended as a gateway to treatment for snoring, the following provides an overview of treatment options, including a detailed discussion on the use of non-invasive appliances to cure snoring.
All snoring and apnea is a consequence of either the physiology of the upper airway or abnormal anatomy. Determining the proper treatment begins with a discussion with and examination by a medical professional, whether a doctor or dentist. The purpose, to determine what conditions may exist and the severity of the patient’s affliction. If deemed appropriate, a sleep study may be required. As stated, of those who snore it is the minority who in the end require more advanced and invasive treatment.
For the majority, relief often takes the form of a dental appliance, i.e. oral appliance therapy. Similar in appearance to a common mouth guard, a therapeutic dental appliance overcomes the most common cause of snoring, the resting position of the lower jaw, i.e. mandible. Of the upper and lower jaw, it is only the lower jaw that moves forward and back, the upper jaw is stationary as it is part of the skull.
When the resting position of the mandible is aligned toward the spine, the airway can become blocked and snoring occurs. With this, the tongue and soft tissue at the back of the throat can cause obstruction. For this condition precise manipulation, i.e. relocation of the mandible, tongue and soft tissue is the only effective treatment. Again, for this, the most common cause of snoring, there is no medication, spray or other treatment that alleviates snoring.
Critical to effective treatment by oral appliance is selecting the correct appliance which is then properly and precisely fitted to the patient. These, custom made oral appliances, have proven far more effective than over-the-counter devices. These devices are available by prescription only
The ineffectiveness of over-the-counter devices can be attributed to a lack of precision so far as a fitting. If the devices is not properly fitted one of two negative outcomes are likely.
For effective treatment of snoring by oral appliance, the “one size fits all” approach of over-the-counter devices does not work.
In those instances when an oral appliance is not suitable a physician may recommend CPAP treatment, the introduction of positive air pressure to the airway while sleeping, or in some cases surgery to remove excess tissue from the airway.
Dr. Caputo’s protocol for the treatment of snoring begins with a free initial consultation.
TST (Total Sleep Time) is an objective measure of brain wave activity measuring actual sleep time. Often, actual sleep time, TST, exceeds the patient’s perception of their sleep.
TRT (Total Recording Time) measures sleep efficiency, i.e. the ratio of total sleep time (TST) to TRT indicating the patient’s ability to maintain sleep.
Also, and perhaps most useful in diagnosing and treating snoring and apnea is the AHI (Apnea-Hypopnea Index), a measure of both sleep and respiratory disruption during sleep, i.e. apnea. Using a scale from 1 to 30, apnea is categorized as mild to moderate, depending on the patients AHI. It is this measure, AHI that plays the most significant role in determining treatment.
If a sleep study indicates the affliction is central apnea, a rare form of apnea, the condition cannot be treated by oral appliance and different course of treatment is required.
To schedule a free consultation with Dr. Caputo call 727-789-1333. We serve patients in the Palm Harbor and Clearwater areas.
Comprehensive Examination & Initial Consultation with Dr. Caputo. five x-rays, oral and facial photographs. Includes a review of your general and oral health history, complete with a treatment and/or personal care plan.
To those who walk through our door we pledge care. Our Mission and Goal is to provide honest, comprehensive and comfortable treatments. The focus of our attention is the satisfaction of our patients needs and desires to the best of our abilities. Commitment to our common goal of oral health and loyalty to one another is both given and needed to reach these highest of goals.Dr. Paul Caputo Meet Dr. Caputo
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Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A