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Sleep Apnea Treatment – Rexburg, ID

Your Path to Quiet & Restful Sleep

If you’ve been told you’re a loud snorer or you frequently awaken feeling tired and lethargic, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea. You’re not alone, though, as over 22 million Americans are currently living with the condition. To make matters worse, many of the cases go undiagnosed. Thankfully, when you visit us at Cornerstone Dental of Rexburg, Dr. Crofoot can help you recover so you can finally get the quality sleep you’ve been missing.

wife upset at husband snoring

What is Sleep Apnea?

Normal airway versus obstructive sleep apnea

For people who suffer from sleep apnea, there are momentary lapses in breathing that can happen up to a hundred times while they sleep. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which refers to a partial blockage of the airway that inhibits the flow of oxygen. This can be caused by weight gain that adds extra girth in the neck area, the tongue falling to the back of the mouth, excessive consumption of alcohol or other contributing factors.

As a result of the pause in breathing, the brain sends a distress signal that causes a stir. While this is an awesome built-in safety mechanism, it leaves you feeling unrefreshed the next day and devoid of the benefits that typically come from a night of sleep.

If you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea, then you should bring it to your primary care physician’s attention so you can undergo a sleep test. We’ll then review your results and work with you to formulate an adequate treatment protocol.

Who is More Likely to Suffer from Sleep Apnea?

man exhausted alarm clock sounding

Sleep apnea can strike people of any age, as the condition is becoming more prevalent even among children. The populations with the highest risk factor of developing the condition, though, are men and women over the age of 40. As mentioned above, variables like weight gain and increased neck girth can play a significant role in limiting airflow. There are several lifestyle practices that impact your sleep, which include the usage of electronic devices before retiring for bed, eating late and enduring heightened stress.

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

man asleep at work because of sleep apnea

There’s no shortage of complications linked to sleep apnea, including:

The Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Exhausted woman laying in bed awake because of sleep apnea

There are several possible warning signs of sleep apnea that may go unnoticed for a lack of knowledge. So you won’t miss out on receiving the vital care you need, here are some of the more common symptoms to be cognizant of:

Mouth Breathing

man mouth breathing while asleep

You may not realize you’re breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, especially while you sleep. However, daytime mouth breathing is a key indication that you may also suffer from sleep apnea. This is because studies show that breathing through your mouth while asleep can trigger and exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms. Research even shows that mouth breathing increases airway collapse and resistance or oral appliance therapy!

Mouth breathing does not always mean you have sleep apnea. However, if you notice that you breathe more through your mouth than your nose, you should speak to your physician about getting a sleep test.

Overcoming CPAP Failure

Man looking incredulous while holding a CPAP mask

The most typical form of sleep apnea therapy is the CPAP machine, which includes three parts: a base unit, tube, and mask. They work in tandem to force air into your throat while you sleep to prevent any lapses in breathing and to also allow for uninterrupted rest. While this is an effective form of therapy, it poses some challenges, the most common of which is CPAP failure. Fortunately, you can overcome this failure with an alternative system called Vivos! If you’d like to learn more about overcoming CPAP failure, continue reading or give our office a call today.  

What Is CPAP Failure?

patient wearing CPAP mask

Many patients aren’t fond of the sound the unit makes while operating and its cumbersome design. Naturally, this takes a toll on the patient’s motivation, and they become less inclined to use it regularly. CPAP failure refers to a patient’s intolerance of the machine.

The Dangers of CPAP Failure

patient holding CPAP mask

Failing to use your CPAP machine increases your risk of experiencing the dangers of sleep apnea. If you leave your condition untreated, you will continue to suffer its impact on your health and well-being. Some of the main health concerns include cancer, brain damage, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and other life-threatening conditions.

Another risk is that if your insurance discovers you're not using your CPAP, they may not reimburse you. Most CPAP machines these days are equipped with a monitoring technology that’s accessible to both sleep specialists and insurance carriers. If your device shows a “failed status” when the insurance company reviews a patient’s usage data, they may consider you non-compliant and possibly ask for the machine to be returned.

Overcome CPAP Failure with Vivos

man smiling with oral appliance

At Cornerstone Dental of Rexburg, we offer an alternative to CPAP that is quiet, small, and more convenient: an oral appliance called the Vivos. Instead of forcing air into your throat, this comfortable and custom-designed appliance gently repositions your jaw to allow for better oxygen flow.

By choosing this system, you can enjoy the following advantages:

  • Just as Effective: Although this system is nonsurgical, it offers the same incredible results as other methods for patients with OSA!
  • Covered by Insurance: You don’t have to worry about covering the expense of this solution out-of-pocket. If you have dental insurance, you can maximize your benefits and use it to help pay for Vivos.
  • Comfortable & Convenient: Vivos is a small, mouthguard-like appliance that applies gentle pressure to the upper palate, expanding it to improve the compromised airway. It’s far more comfortable than a standard CPAP machine, meaning you’ll be more likely to wear it.

How We Can Help You Recover: Vivos Treatment

clear oral appliance sleep apnea

The Vivos system is a nonsurgical and simple treatment that offers meaningful results for patients with OSA. This remarkable treatment addresses the anatomical abnormalities that cause OSA with a small, mouthguard-like appliance. It applies gentle pressure to the upper palate, which expands it to improve the compromised airway. Additionally, the Vivos system appliance may be designed to reposition the lower jaw and move it forward. Not only does this improve the wearer’s ability to breathe while sleeping, but it retrains the lower jaw to rest in this healthier position for long-term results.

Your custom Vivos system will reposition the jawbone and gently reshape the upper palate so that they no longer block the airway during sleep. Once your Vivos treatment is completed, you should be able to breathe easy and sleep soundly through the night without the use of a CPAP machine.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Speech bubble with question mark inside of it on a yellow background

Think you might have sleep apnea? You’re not alone. As someone who is looking for help, our team at Cornerstone Dental of Rexburg is here to help. Let us answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you get the care you need to start embracing a better quality of life. Below you will find multiple common questions pertaining to sleep apnea. If you need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Does Sleep Apnea Cause Health Problems?

Apart from the inability to sleep and breathe throughout the night, sleep apnea is capable of wreaking havoc on the rest of your body. Because of the chronic fatigue and frequent rise and fall of your heart rate and blood pressure when attempting to wake and breathe while asleep, you can suffer from cardiovascular problems that lead to a heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmia, diabetes, and even heart failure.

If I Snore, Does That Mean I Have Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is most commonly associated with a sleep disorder; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. The same can be said if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may not snore. The truth is that snoring can be the result of your age, weight, medications you may be taking, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and even sinus problems. If it appears that you do not struggle to breathe while asleep, it is safe to assume you simply have a snoring problem, but if you wake suddenly gasping or choking for air, it’s time to be tested for sleep apnea.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Treatment?

When seeking treatment for sleep apnea, you will not file on your dental insurance. Why? Because although you will be receiving an oral appliance, it is technically viewed as a medical device, so it must be filed under your medical insurance. At Cornerstone Dental of Rexburg, our team will help you navigate this process to ensure it is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

What Can I Do At Home to Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

In addition to your professional oral appliance therapy receiving at our dental office, there are some changes you can make at home that will improve your symptoms. These include:

  • Finding ways to reduce your stress by exercising, talking to a counselor, eating healthier foods, reading a book, or meditating
  • Avoiding alcohol hours before going to bed
  • Eating more nutritious foods and getting plenty of exercise each day
  • Ceasing the use of tobacco products and smoking
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