6707 HWY 431 S. Suite 103 Owen's Cross Roads, AL 35763

Current Patients 256.534.1475

New Patients 256.202.4186

Sleep Apnea Treatment Owens Cross Roads, AL

Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea or a sleep disorder? Are you looking for an alternative to the CPAP? Dr. Elizabeth Duling is a Diplomate with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). She can offer comprehensive sleep apnea treatment in Owens Cross Roads, AL, with advanced oral appliance therapy (OAT).

Sleep appliances are custom-designed to improve airway function and minimize the symptoms associated with sleep apnea. They can benefit patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Sleep appliances are also effective for patients who are intolerant of the CPAP.

Treating sleep apnea is essential for overall physical health and wellness. It reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, sudden stroke, and other inflammatory conditions. Sleep apnea and poor sleep are linked to heart problems.

sleep apnea treatment in owens cross roads, alabama

Treating Sleep Apnea and OAT in Owens Cross Roads, AL

Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea can receive successful treatment with consistent use of the proper oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy is a modern alternative to CPAP machines. Patients who are intolerant of CPAP can also benefit from this treatment option.

Some patients often find CPAP machines too loud, bulky, and uncomfortable. While a CPAP is a common treatment option for sleep apnea, it’s not the only option. For many patients, it’s difficult to adjust to CPAPs.

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is an excellent alternative to noisy CPAP machines. An oral appliance is a small and portable device. They are similar to other dental mouthguards we can create with digital impressions. Dr. Duling works with patients to find the best fit and functional solution with an oral appliance. We offer a range of oral appliances, including ProSomnus® and EMA®.

Oral appliances will support a more open airway by moving the jaw forward. Also called mandibular advancement, this technology has been proven to reduce sleep apnea symptoms.

Used regularly, these sleep apnea appliances can allow restful, uninterrupted sleep. Mandibular advancement prevents the soft tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing into the airway during sleep. Airway tissue collapse results in snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

Oral Appliance Therapy: What to Expect

Choosing the right oral appliance is essential. Oral appliances are customized to you and your unique oral structure. Dr. Duling will help you create a custom oral appliance for your needs.

She will thoroughly explain proper care and daily usage during your visit to our Owings Cross Roads dental office. Multiple appliances may suit your needs. However, Dr. Duling will work with you to ensure your final choice is comfortable and functional.

During your consultation with Dr. Duling, she will perform a TMJ exam. She will examine the TMJ joints, tongue, jaw, airway, and muscles of the face. Dr. Duling will take measurements of the jaw opening.

Then, the dental hygienist will make dental impressions of the teeth for the appliance. There are a variety of oral appliances that Dr. Duling offers, and she will review these options with you.

There are multiple considerations when choosing oral appliance therapy. Dr. Duling has five questions each patient should ask themselves as part of their journey to the best solution for their overall health needs. Finding the right dentist to create a sleep apnea appliance will help you get the best treatment possible for sleep apnea.

oral appliance theraoy for sleep apnea in owns cross roads al

Below, you can learn more from Dr. Duling herself. See how she helps patients find the right fitting oral appliance for their sleep apnea:

Benefits of Oral Appliances

Compared to other sleep apnea treatments, oral appliances:

  • Do not make noise
  • Are easy to travel with
  • Provide easy cleaning
  • Are customized to fit your teeth
  • Do not limit movement

A sleep apnea appliance is similar to a sports mouthguard. You can easily remove it for cleaning. Gently brushing and rinsing your appliance will keep it clean. You can also brush and floss before you place your appliance on at night.

When you travel, you can carry your appliance in its case. It’s also useful to keep the appliance in its case when it’s not in use.

Why Should You Treat Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances?

Properly treating sleep apnea can prevent multiple common problems:

  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches

Mild sleep apnea symptoms can worsen over time. Treating sleep apnea with oral appliances can reduce symptoms for more restful sleep.

Sleep Apnea Treatment FAQs

Learn more about sleep apnea treatment in our Owens Cross Roads, AL office as we answer these commonly asked questions:

Can sleep apnea be cured completely?

While oral appliance therapy is a solution, it doesn’t fully cure sleep apnea. The only way to cure sleep apnea is to lose weight or get surgery. Losing weight can help expand your upper airway to breathe easier at night. In the most severe cases, you may need surgery to remove soft tissues from the back of your throat. However, oral appliance therapy relieves sleep apnea symptoms to improve your health.

Can I live longer with treated sleep apnea?

Yes. The mortality rate of untreated sleep apnea is higher than that of the average population. However, after treating sleep apnea, this rate is the same as the average population. This is another reason why it’s best to treat your symptoms as soon as possible.

What else can I do to help my sleep apnea?

In addition to fitting you with an oral appliance, Dr. Duling can offer further advice to lessen sleep apnea symptoms at home. It’s best to avoid certain medications when you have sleep apnea. Antihistamines and benzodiazepines can worsen sleep apnea as they can relax the upper airway.

Sleeping on your side with your head elevated can help to ease sleep apnea. If you sleep on your back without your head above your chest, your tongue can block your airway.

How long does it take for sleep apnea treatment to start to work?

You can start to notice the benefits of better sleep within two weeks. If you don’t stick with the treatment consistently, you won’t notice improvements as much. If you’re using it regularly, you’ll have more energy and an improved mood throughout the day because you get the sleep you need.

Can children get sleep apnea?

Yes, children can, though it’s much more common in adults. It’s most common in children with enlarged tonsils, as they are more likely to collapse and block the airway during sleep. Children with sleep apnea also have an increased risk of hyperactivity during the day, which may cause issues at school.

How common is sleep apnea?

As much as 20% of the population has sleep apnea. Some of this correlates with the increase in obesity throughout the country. A high number of people have sleep apnea without realizing it. The symptoms are kind of general and it can be difficult to determine if it’s sleep apnea or another condition. Women are also less likely to realize they have it because their symptoms are often different than the typical ones.

Treat Sleep Apnea Today

Call our dental office in Owens Cross Roads for sleep apnea treatment at 256.202.4186. You can also schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Duling online. If you have any questions about sleep apnea, please inform Dr. Duling at your next visit. She will provide professional recommendations for your treatment. Dr. Duling will work with you to find treatment that meets your needs.