Sleep Apnea Treatment

An estimated 30 million people in the US may have sleep apnea, and as many as 27 million of these have not been diagnosed.

Sleep apnea is a severe condition that causes you to stop breathing several times at night, leading to serious health complications.

In the past, medical doctors diagnosed and treated sleep apnea, but today more and more dentists are taking the lead, including Dr. Heather Gentry, your compassionate dentist in Charlotte, NC.

Sleep Apnea Signs, Associations, and Complications

The telltale signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Waking during the night
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Mood changes
  • Dry throat
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching)

 

In some cases, you may not notice any symptoms, so we have made sleep apnea screening part of your preventive dental visit, along with examinations, teeth cleanings, and oral cancer screenings.

Sleep apnea is associated with:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Anxiety
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Acid reflux

Untreated sleep apnea can also affect whole-body systems by triggering an overproduction of cortisol during breathing cessation. And milder forms of sleep apnea—for example, upper airway resistance syndrome—often found in patients who are not overweight, may be associated with younger patients or hormonal changes (in women), including those in menopause.

Sleep apnea may lead to complicated situations like heart attack and stroke without treatment. It has also been associated with a shorter life expectancy. Dr. Gentry and her team are committed to your diagnosis and treatment for these reasons.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment in Charlotte, NC

The American Dental Association now recommends that dentists screen patients for sleep apnea just as they do for oral cancer and dental health issues.

Dr. Gentry and her team have taken this recommendation to heart and completed advanced training in diagnosing and treating this disorder.

Dr. Gentry wants to treat her patients holistically and understands that the mouth is the gateway to the body, which calls for a whole-body approach to dental care. This approach includes getting to the root causes of dental issues like sleep apnea and bruxism instead of only masking symptoms with temporary treatments.

Her goal has always been to improve the lives of her patients.

We diagnose sleep apnea through an at-home sleep study, typically less expensive than overnight stays in a sleep center.

We can also offer alternatives to the traditional CPAP machine, which is loud and cumbersome, often disrupting sleep and interfering with life quality. Instead, our custom sleep apnea appliance can gently reposition the lower jaw to keep the airway open. This allows for restful and safe sleep, and it is typically less expensive and more comfortable than the CPAP machine.

In some cases, patients opt for CPAP coupled with appliance therapy—or CPAP for at-home use and appliance therapy for travel. A sleep apnea appliance is easier to pack in your luggage.

If You Suspect Sleep Apnea, the Team at Gentry Dental Wants to Hear from You

Dr. Gentry and her team understand that people with sleep apnea do not feel good, and they want to help.

Through Dr. Gentry, you can expect a straightforward diagnosis and comfortable therapy for a restful and safe night’s sleep.

We diagnose and treat sleep apnea patients from all locations, including the nearby neighborhoods of Barclay Downs, SouthPark, and Beverley Woods.