Sleep Apnea Treatment in Kingsport, TN

Does your partner complain that your loud snoring keeps them awake? Do you ever wake up feeling groggy and tired even after a full night’s sleep? 

Both of these symptoms can be a sign of a bigger problem: obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health concerns, but a simple oral appliance available at our Kingsport dental office is a solution that has helped many patients.

Below, we will talk more about sleep apnea and how to treat it. It is important to note that sleep apnea is a medical condition that must be diagnosed by a medical doctor. While our Kingsport, TN dentist can help treat your sleep apnea, you may also need the assistance of other licensed professionals. If you have questions about sleep apnea or the treatments we offer, please call our dental team at (423) 239-8021 today.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder. Those who suffer from sleep apnea do not naturally breathe properly during sleep and often cannot get enough oxygen. Snoring is usually the most obvious sign of sleep apnea. 

Unless your snoring is affecting a roommate or partner, it is possible you may suffer from sleep apnea and not even know it. Sleep apnea signs and symptoms can be rather subtle, and it is possible to snore without having sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose and recognize because you often do not remember what happened while you were asleep! 

However, if you frequently awaken during the night and are gasping for air or having trouble breathing, there is a good chance you have sleep apnea. As you sleep, your tongue naturally relaxes and falls back against your throat. If you have sleep apnea, your tongue can cause your airway to close up completely and obstruct your breathing. 

Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Severe daytime drowsiness
  • Impaired concentration
  • Headache immediately upon waking
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Daytime mood swings, often due to irritability from lack of sleep

People with obstructive sleep apnea often stop breathing several hundred times throughout the night. These pauses in breathing can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds and are usually followed by a loud snort when breathing starts again. This difficulty in breathing means the brain—and the rest of the body—may not get enough oxygen, which can be very dangerous over a prolonged period of time. 

How does sleep apnea affect overall health?

Sleep apnea is more than a minor inconvenience, and it does more than just affect your sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can greatly impact other areas of your body. A chronic lack of sufficient oxygen can result in many health problems, including: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Headaches

Getting sufficient sleep each night is crucial to your overall health. The fatigue that results from sleep apnea can lead to grogginess, reduced performance at work or school, and even motor vehicle accidents. If you regularly struggle to sleep soundly because of sleep apnea, you are putting yourself and others at risk.

At Hagan Dentistry, we take sleep apnea symptoms very seriously. We understand that living with sleep apnea can have a negative effect on your life as well as the lives of your partner, spouse, children, roommates, coworkers, and friends. If you suspect you are struggling with sleep apnea, don’t wait to address your symptoms! In the section below, we discuss the ways sleep apnea is treated and talk specifically about the way our Kingsport, TN dentist can help. 

How is sleep apnea treated?

Sleep apnea isn’t uncommon—the American Sleep Apnea Association indicates that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of moderate-to-severe cases are diagnosed. 

If your partner complains about your excessive snoring, you should alert your primary care doctor. Speaking with a medical doctor is the first step toward addressing your sleep apnea symptoms and treating the condition. In most cases, your doctor will recommend a sleep study to diagnose and identify the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea by observing the results that snoring has on your breathing.

Doctors often treat severe sleep apnea with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This machine is used during sleep and helps regulate breathing through a mask that is worn over the mouth. The CPAP mask provides a constant flow of oxygen, but many people find it bulky and uncomfortable, so they don’t wear it, which can be life-threatening.

Although the CPAP machine is an effective way to treat sleep apnea, it is not always the best solution for many patients. Additionally, partners and spouses of sleep apnea patients are often disturbed or kept awake by the continual sounds the CPAP machine makes, which forces many couples to start sleeping in separate rooms so that each person can get a good night’s sleep. 

Because so many people need an alternative treatment, many have been turning to dentists to help treat their sleep apnea. Many dental offices offer a simple and effective treatment method for their patients who suffer from sleep apnea. 

At Hagan Dentistry, we want to protect the safety and health of our patients in any way possible. An excellent alternative treatment for patients who can’t tolerate the CPAP mask is an oral appliance prescribed by Dr. Hagan.

If you are living with sleep apnea in Kingsport, TN, we believe you can benefit from this oral appliance. Our prescription oral appliances are very similar to mouth guards worn during sports, and they are designed to move your jaw slightly forward while you sleep. This prevents your tongue from falling back and closing your airway, which eliminates the possibility of gasping and choking for air during the night. 

Many patients who cannot tolerate wearing the CPAP mask, or who want to avoid sleep apnea surgery, benefit from this treatment. Our oral appliances are custom-made to fit the exact shape and size of each patient’s mouth, which makes them comfortable and easy to wear. 

Our knowledgeable dentist, Dr. Andrew Hagan, can prescribe a sleep apnea oral appliance in Kingsport, TN once you have been formally diagnosed with sleep apnea by a medical professional. If you have received a sleep apnea diagnosis, and are ready to start sleeping more soundly, give our dental office a call! We can schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Hagan and get you well on your way to a more restful night’s sleep. 

When can I meet with Dr. Hagan for sleep apnea treatment?

There is no reason anyone should live with untreated sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is an intrusive and potentially dangerous condition that can be easily treated with an oral dental appliance. Patients who begin using our prescription oral appliances notice an improvement in their quality of sleep quite literally overnight! 

At Hagan Dentistry, we believe you deserve a good night’s rest. If you suspect that your snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea, don’t wait to contact our Kingsport dentist. Dr. Hagan will listen to your concerns and work with your primary care doctor to find a safe solution that will help you enjoy your sleep. Call our dental office today at (423) 239-8021 to treat your sleep apnea in Kingsport, TN!