Sleep Apnea/Snoring Treatments

Sleep Apnea/Snoring TreatmentsObstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissue in a person’s throat repeatedly collapses and blocks the airway during sleep. 

When this occurs the individual wakes up gasping for air.  You can imagine how tired you would feel if this happened to you many times per hour.

Snoring/Sleep Apnea Treatments in Medford, Oregon

Snoring is also a common symptom of sleep apnea.  Although, just because you snore, it doesn’t mean you suffer from sleep apnea

The only way to know for certain is to take a detailed health history, in conjunction with results from a “sleep study”.  The doctors at Rothfus Family Dental work with a team of sleep specialists to diagnose, and discuss the options for treatment.

Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Over 70 million Americans suffer from some type of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and are currently undiagnosed.  Due to lack of oxygen, these individuals are tired and can experience a myriad of health problems.  Recommendations and laws are being passed as we speak, for commercial truck drivers, and even air traffic controllers to be assessed for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea can be associated with many medical conditions such as daytime sleepiness.  Less obvious medical conditions include but are not limited to stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression and a decrease in sex drive.  If you feel like you or someone you know may suffer from sleep apnea, ask your doctor to screen you for OSA,  visit http://www.sleepcenters.org/, or ask Rothfus Family Dental and we can refer you to professionals right here in Southern Oregon, specially trained to diagnose OSA. Obstructive sleep Apnea is a condition that can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor.

Berlin Questionaire for Sleep Apnea/Sleep Disorders

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you typically have three potential treatment options.  One aggressive option is to have surgery to remove excessive soft tissue from the back of the throat and soft palate.  It is this excess soft tissue that collapses during sleep that causes the apneic episodes.  This option can be painful and is not the primary treatment of choice.

Sleep Apnea – CPAP Machine – Sleep Apnea Treatment in Medford, Oregon

The next option is using what is called a CPAP machine. It consists of a pump and tubing that you place over your nose while you sleep and it “forces” air into your lungs.  While this treatment is very effective, it can be difficult for some people to tolerate.  Studies have shown that even though CPAP is the standard of choice for treating OSA, 25-50% of patients are not compliant or do not tolerate this treatment modality.  For many of those patients, the only other choice was surgery… until now.

Rothfus Family Dental- Alternative Treatment to Sleep Apnea

Dr. Randall Rothfus, with a dental office in Medford Oregon, is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and has taken advanced courses on the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, using what is called Oral Appliance Therapy (OTA).  The doctor does an exam to evaluate your teeth, gums and jaw.

If everything looks good, impressions are taken and sent to a lab that specializes in the fabrication of your oral appliance.  The appliance we use for most of our patients is the Thorton Adjustable Positioner (TAP®).  It is made of upper and lower “clear plastic” removable trays that snap over the teeth, and are connected in the front by a device that allows for moving the mandible forward.

Each tray is custom fit by the doctor for your mouth, and then adjusted to position your lower jaw in a forward position.  This positioning opens the airway in the throat while you sleep and allows a constant steady flow of oxygen to your lungs.  You then wake up feeling relaxed and full of energy.  As opposed to the CPAP, 90% of patients that use the TAP® wear the appliance all night long and notice a difference the first night they wear it.  OAT, is conservative, non-painful, portable, and very effective in treating many people with OSA.

The Ins & Outs of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy at Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OregonSnoring on the other hand occurs when there is a partial obstruction to the free flow of air through the mouth and nose.  Just because a person snores, it does not mean they suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  It can however, be an indicator, and that person should be evaluated by a competent physician.

Although snoring is just thought of by many as a nuisance, it can lead to serious health concerns.  Snoring can be serious both medically and socially.  Snoring has been linked to heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and type II diabetes.  Snoring can also disrupt marriages, even leading to divorce.  At the very least, it makes it very difficult for your bed partner to get a peaceful night’s sleep! Did you know that half of all Americans snore?

Oral appliance therapy is indicated as a very successful treatment for snoring.  Positioning the jaw forward during sleep, is usually enough to open the airway and allow the constant steady flow of air, without the rumbling of the soft tissues.  Give us a call at our Medford, Oregon dental office and see how we can help you or someone you love today!

Rothfus Family Dental – Medford, Oregon

Member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine At Rothfus Family Dental, it’s our goal to provide you with the highest level of dental services and care in a safe and caring environment.  We want to be there for your entire family, whether you’re 3 or 103.

Providing most aspects of dentistry in one location makes us a true Medford, Oregon general dental practice.  We also utilize the most advanced dental techniques, equipment and materials, so that the dentistry you receive will last for many years to come.

Earning your trust and treating you how we would want to be treated is the basis we want to build our dental relationship on.  We want to be your dental care provider for a lifetime, and we want to make you a raving fan of our office.  We provide Medford, Oregon family dentistry and Rogue Valley dental services.

Call us today to schedule a dental appointment.  You’ll be happy you did, because at Rothfus Family Dental, we are… “Making Smiles Happen, Daily.”  Medford, Oregon Family Dentistry – (541) 858-7994.