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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that’s highly common and extremely problematic. If left untreated, OSA can ruin your health, endanger those around you, and even hurt your relationships. If you have sleep apnea, Dr. Briglia of Briglia Dental Group offers effective OSA therapy to our West Chester patients as well as patients from surrounding areas such as Chester Springs, Exton, Broomall, and Chadds Ford, PA.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by your throat muscles collapsing and blocking your airways while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, affecting an estimated three to seven percent of the population worldwide.
When we breathe, oxygen passes through the nose, mouth, and throat and ultimately ends up in the lungs. When this happens, the area in the back of the throat can collapse inward, but the muscles around it dilate to keep the airway open. If there is a disturbance in this process, the airway can be temporarily blocked, causing an apnea episode. If these episodes occur five or more times per hour, a patient is said to suffer from OSA.
OSA is more likely to occur if you’re carrying excess weight in your neck due to problems like obesity or you suffer from congestion, which can cause fluids to build up in your throat and constrict your airways. Other risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea include:
OSA is often accompanied by chronic heavy snoring, which can disrupt your bed partners and your household, even making separation from your loved ones more likely. But this particular sleep disorder causes more issues than loud, disruptive noises. It robs you of valuable REM sleep, deprives you of much needed oxygen and can negatively affect every aspect of your mental and physical health. Symptoms of sleep apnea also include:
Additionally, many of these symptoms, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, are exacerbated by sleep apnea, which in turn makes your sleep apnea worse. This can result in an increasingly dangerous cycle of worsening sleep apnea and worsening symptoms.
What’s more, chronic sleep deprivation caused by obstructive sleep apnea can lower your cognitive abilities and inhibit your reaction speed. This makes the likelihood of workplace and traffic accidents much higher. In fact, sleep deprived individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are responsible for thousands of traffic fatalities every year. These risks are why effective OSA therapy is a necessity.
While obstructive sleep apnea is incredibly common and causes serious issues, it’s also the easiest form of sleep apnea to treat. Dr. Briglia offers multiple forms of obstructive sleep apnea therapy, including CPAP and oral appliance therapy.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one of the most common and potentially effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is a machine that continuously delivers air pressure via a mask that is worn while sleeping. The pressure opens your airways, allowing you to breathe freely and alleviating symptoms of sleep apnea.
Unfortunately, compliance with CPAP therapy is very low, with over half of patients discontinuing use of it in less than a year. This is often due to the noise caused by the machine and the discomfort wearing the machine can cause. Many patients will end up removing their CPAP mask while they’re sleeping because the discomfort interrupts their sleep. Fortunately, your West Chester dentist offers an alternative form of OSA therapy in the form of oral appliances.
Oral appliance therapy using a TAP device is an effective way to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The adjustable device works by repositioning the lower jaw forward to prevent the tongue and soft tissues from blocking the airway. TAP appliances are custom fit, allowing enough room for the tongue and the lips to close, while still maintaining an open airway. While wearing a TAP device you’ll enjoy greater comfort and a peaceful night’s sleep while still enjoying the benefits of effective OSA therapy.
The exact cost of your OSA therapy will depend on a variety of factors including the severity of your case. If you need help affording your OSA therapy, don’t worry. Dr. Briglia and the rest of our team at Briglia Dental Group want all of our patients to enjoy the best care and receive treatment as soon as possible. That’s why we offer financing through CareCredit and uninsured patients get 10 percent off all of their treatments, including lab fees.
Unfortunately, obstructive sleep apnea is not likely to go away on its own. In fact, due to the way certain symptoms of sleep apnea exacerbate the disorder, OSA can actually get worse the longer it goes untreated. Obstructive sleep apnea will almost always require professional intervention and even changes in your lifestyle to effectively control your symptoms.
If you or any of your loved ones suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, don’t wait for the disorder to get worse. Contact Briglia Dental Group and schedule an appointment with Dr. Briglia by dialing (610) 615 0160 if you’re a new patient or dial (610) 692 4440 if you’re a returning patient.
It’s important to pay attention to how you feel during the day and ask any bed partners or members of your household if they’ve noticed or heard you snoring, tossing and turning, waking up gasping or displaying any other possible signs of obstructive sleep apnea.
Once you arrive at our West Chester office and tell Dr. Briglia your symptoms, he’ll recommend a sleep study to ensure an accurate diagnosis. During a sleep study, electrodes will be attached to your body and skull, which will collect data including your brain waves and breathing patterns. Sleep studies can be performed at home or at a sleep center under the supervision of a medical professional who will analyze the data.
At Briglia Dental Group, your West Chester dentist, Dr. Briglia offers effective methods for controlling your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. That way, you can get a good night’s rest and enjoy better physical and mental health.
If you or any of your loved ones think you’re displaying signs of OSA, don’t hesitate to contact Briglia Dental Group. New patients can reach our West Chester office by dialing (610) 615-0160 or dial (610) 692-4440 if you’re a returning patient. You can also fill out our contact form and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly. We look forward to helping you sleep right and live a longer healthier life.
Dr. Ron Briglia has been practicing dentistry since 1984. With decades of experience and extensive continuing education, Dr. Briglia provides the most comprehensive dental services.
He earned his Bachelor of Science from Gannon University and his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Temple University Dental School. He has received advanced training at prestigious organizations like Pankey and Las Vegas Institutes. He is IV and oral sedation-certified too.
Most of Dr. Briglia’s patients have continued with him in his family of patients for over 30 – 35 years, and the restorations he has provided them have lasted for 25-35 years – clear evidence of his skills and expertise.
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Patient Experience with TAP Oral ApplianceJul 13, 2020