If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea or struggles with snoring, you might want to meet with Dr. Donald Alexander, dentist and the founder of The Sleep Therapy Center of North Florida. Dr. Alexander is one of the few dentists in the area with the training and expertise to help resolve sleep apnea symptoms without the need for CPAP therapy.
Q: I thought the only option for sleep apnea was CPAP therapy. How does the oral appliance work?
While a common sleep apnea treatment is indeed CPAP therapy, an oral appliance achieves a similar effect. Both CPAP therapy and an oral appliance keep the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissues around the mouth are more relaxed.
The appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open. It’s a less invasive way to treat sleep apnea, as it’s a simple device that fits in the mouth instead of a machine with tubes and filters to worry about. The device repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to keep soft tissue from blocking the airway. It’s sturdy enough to withstand teeth grinding, so even people who struggle with teeth grinding can benefit from this form of treatment.
Q: What causes sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when muscles in the airway relax during sleep. Too much pressure on these muscles from excess fat tissue obstructs the airway, causing the sleeper to have difficulty breathing during sleep or stop breathing altogether.
The sleeper often stops breathing, wakes up multiple times gasping for air, feels tired all day, or even has issues with memory or concentration. Simply put, sleep apnea doesn’t just affect sleep — it can affect every part of a patient’s life and severely impact quality of life.
Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?
Dr. Alexander meets with patients individually for a customized consultation. After taking precise measurements, he will ensure you’re fitted correctly. While the device does reposition the jaw, it’s designed to do so in a comfortable manner so as not to disrupt sleep. Most patients report a reduction in snoring, leading to better sleep for themselves and their loved ones!
Dr. Alexander and his expert staff in Jacksonville, FL wants to help you get better sleep. Call 904.372.8157 or schedule an appointment online today.