Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatment

While we sleep, there are many things that can give us a restless night, resulting in headaches and/or fatigue in the morning. A condition called sleep apnea could be the cause. If you have experienced issues with snoring, breathing pauses, or gasps while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea. This condition is very serious, and can lead to debilitating, even life-threatening health problems if it is not treated. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Robin Rutherford, works with a team of doctors specializing in sleep disorders to create customized treatment plan to help you sleep (and breathe) easier throughout the night.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

snoreSleep apnea causes the muscles in your throat, mouth, and/or nasal passages to relax so much during sleep that the amount of air you are able to breathe becomes more and more limited. One very noticeable symptom of this condition is snoring, but sleep apnea can also cause complete breathing pauses for up to ten seconds or more. The most frightening thing about sleep apnea is that most people are not aware they have it unless someone tells them. If someone has noticed that you have been snoring or gasping for air while you sleep, or if you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed below, it is important to be evaluated and have the condition addressed as soon as possible.

Potential Risks and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to very serious health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Teeth grinding
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Gastric reflux
  • Compromised immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Sexual dysfunction

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

mosesOnce you have been evaluated and diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are several options available to you. Some of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea do not involve surgical intervention. These options include a customized oral appliance. Worn while you sleep, customized oral appliances can keep your airways open to allow a better flow of air through breathing passages. Snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea can be reduced with these treatments, ultimately giving you a safer, healthier, and more restful night’s sleep.

Questionnaire – Do you have sleep apnea?

Section I

1. Do you snore?

a) Yes b) No c) Don’t know

2. How loud is your snoring?

a) Breathing b) Talking c) Louder than talking

d) Very loud – can be heard in adjacent room

3. How often do you snore?

a) Nearly every day b) 3 to 4 times a week c) 1 to 2 times a week

d) 1 to 2 times a month e) Almost never

4. Has your snoring ever bothered others?

a) Yes b) No c) Don’t know

5. Do you stop breathing during sleep?

a) Nearly every day b) 3 to 4 times a week c) 1 to 2 times a week

d) 1 to 2 times a month e) Almost never

Section II

6. How often do you feel tired after sleep?

a) Nearly every day b) 3 to 4 times a week c) 1 to 2 times a week

d) 1 to 2 times a month e) almost never

7. While awake, do you feel tired?

a) Nearly every day b) 3 to 4 times a week c) 1 to 2 times a week

d) 1 to 2 times a month e) almost never

8. Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?

a) Yes b) No

9. If yes, how often does this occur?

a) Nearly every day b) 3 to 4 times a week c) 1 to 2 times a week

d) 1 to 2 times a month e) almost never

Section III

10. Do you have high blood pressure?

a) Yes b) No c) Don’t know

Self Scoring

Section I

Score ONE POINT for the following answers:

1) a

2) c or d

3) a or b

4) a

Score TWO POINTS for the following answers:

5) a or b

Section II

Score ONE POINT for the following answers:

6) a or b

7) a or b

8) a

9) note only

Section III

Score TWO POINTS for the following answers:

10) a or BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 30

Questionnaire Results

High Risk:

2+ sections with TWO or MORE points

Low Risk:

0-1 section with TWO or MORE points.

Bring these results to your next dental appointment. Your doctor can prescribe you a customized oral appliance, which can help you and your bed partner get a more restful, healthier, and quieter night’s sleep.

Answer Our Sleep Apnea Questionnaire

Contact Dr. Robin Rutherford

Please contact the Art of Dentistry today if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea. We can provide you with more information, or help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Robin Rutherford to discuss evaluation and treatment options.

Driving Directions to The Art of Dentistry

Dr. Rutherford is proud to provide his services and expertise in cosmetic dentistry to patients traveling from nearby cities. We have included driving directions from the following locations for your convenience: