Dr. Ashley Covington and Dr. Perry DuRant take a comprehensive approach to your dental care, taking into consideration oral health related concerns that can also affect your overall health and well being. Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea, have been diagnosed at an increasing rate and can often be treated effectively with oral appliance therapy at Lowcountry Family Dentistry. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, around 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea. Characterized by loud snoring, sleep disorders can also lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular and systemic disease, including heart attack and stroke and many other health complications that can impact the quality life.
Our dentists have an in depth understanding of the entire occlusal system and function of the facial structure. We can work with you on an individual basis to determine your risk factors for a sleep disorder and discuss your symptoms. Identifying both the type of sleep disorder you may be suffering from as well as the underlying cause or risk factors is the key to providing effective care and improving your health.
Common Risk Factors
- Being overweight or obese
- Being a smoker
- Having high blood pressure
- Having a large neck circumference
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Having a narrow airway or small lower jaw
- Being male
- Being over the age of 40
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Drs. Covington and DuRant will work with you to determine if your symptoms are part of a sleep disorder and what type you may have. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is typically caused by an obstruction of the upper airway during sleep resulting from the collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat. The airway becomes blocked, and patients are momentarily unable to breathe, cutting oxygen off from vital organs. OSA can often be treated with an oral appliance to relieve symptoms and reduce associated risks.
Although the CPAP machine is still considered the “gold standard” of treatment for OSA, a custom oral appliance or nightguard can be effective in mild to moderate cases. Due to the inconvenience and maintenance of the CPAP, patient compliance is generally poor, reducing its ability to improve symptoms. An oral appliance will fit much like a custom made sports mouth guard, allowing you to speak and drink fluids while wearing it. It works by opening the airway, relaxing the jaw muscles, and allowing you to breathe comfortably throughout the night. The device will be carefully fabricated to the specifications of your mouth. It is comfortable, easy to use, convenient and portable. For these reasons, patients will commit to routine use and enjoy improved overall health as well as a good night’s rest.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are concerned that your snoring may be the sign of a sleep disorder, schedule a visit with Dr. Covington or Dr. DuRant. Our Beaufort dentist office welcomes new patients and offers personalized care for all of your oral health needs and cosmetic goals. Contact us at (843) 986-0177 or request an appointment online.