Why Treat Sleep Apnea?
Greeley, CO orthodontist Dr. David Richter offers oral appliance therapy to treat snoring and sleep apnea, common sleep disorders that can also affect overall health and well being if untreated. The position of the jaws and related structures influences the development of sleep apnea, making the dentist a key professional in the diagnosis and treatment for selective cases.
Snoring by itself is generally not a health problem, however it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients who suffer with OSA repeatedly stop breathing while they sleep. The prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age and it is estimated that as many as 50% of elderly men and women suffer from the disorder. Dr. Richter works with your regular physician to diagnose and treat OSA through home sleep studies and oral appliance therapy.
Signs & Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
As part of a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Richter will review your medical history and discuss some of the signs that could indicate a sleep breathing disorder. Common signs include:
- Daytime sleepiness and the tendency to fall asleep while reading, watching television or driving
- Loud snoring
- Gasping while sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems with concentration, mood and mental clarity
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Dr. Richter provides a custom fit oral appliance designed to prevent the soft tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing during sleep , leading to snoring and the repeated cessation of breathing that is characteristic of OSA.
An alternative to the CPAP, an oral appliance offers several key benefits that improve patient compliance, an important part of reducing symptoms and health risks. Oral appliances are similar to mouth guards and are comfortable and portable for patients who wear them.
In addition, Dr. Richter may recommend lifestyle changes to improve symptoms and overall health: weight loss, cessation of smoking and reduced alcohol consumption can often have a significant impact on your symptoms and restore better overall health.
Free Screening for Sleep Disorders
Are you concerned you or a loved one may have a sleep disorder? The first step towards restoring your health- and a good night’s sleep- is to schedule a free screening at Richter Orthodontics in Greeley, CO.
We will discuss the results of your screening at the conclusion of your visit and make recommendations for further diagnostics and treatment if necessary. Contact our office today at (970) 281-4452.