Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

After a long tiring day, all we want is a few hours of peaceful, sound sleep.

A good night's sleep can rejuvenate your body and refill you with the energy you need for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, many people have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep.

 If this is you, it could be due to Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that prevents people from getting the sound sleep they need.

It’s a common medical condition that blocks the flow of air during sleep.

What Happens In Sleep Apnea?

•    The blockage in airflow occurs when muscles of the airway relax and your airway narrows or closes off, reducing or stopping breathing.
•     The jaw relaxes the tongue, blocks the airway fully (apnea) or partially (hypopnea) and breathing is compromised.  As a result, you may start to snore or gasp for air.
•    When the blockage occurs long enough for the brain to realize that breathing has been compromised to dangerous levels, it brings you out of the deepest stage of sleep.
•    As a result you regain consciousness, control your jaw and the airway opens again.
•    The occurrence of this cycle can be as few as 5 times to as high as 70 times an hour.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea you must have a sleep study, called a Polysomnogram, performed. 

This can be done at a sleep center or at home.  This sleep study electronically transmits and records specific physical activities while you sleep.  The multiple component tests are then analysed by a qualified sleep specialist to see if you have Sleep Apnea and to what degree.

•    MILD – 5-15 Episodes per hour
•    MODERATE – 15-30 Episodes per hour
•    SEVERE – OVER 30 Episodes per hour

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea can be life-threatening.  For your convenience, Dr. Phillips offers a simple questionnaire online to help you determine if you have symptoms of Sleep Apnea. 
Take A Simple Sleep Apnea Quiz

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea can be treated by:
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
The CPAP machine works great when you use it, but it is a real inconvenience to wear.

It can leak air.  It’s noisy and cumbersome; and three out of four patients quit wearing it after a year.
CPAP Machine
  • Upper Airway Surgery
This is suggested by the dental sleep specialist when other methods of treatment have been ineffective. The surgery can include operating on any part of the upper airway, from the nose to the Adam ’s Apple, removing adenoids, tonsils, uvula and/or soft palate.  These surgeries have had mixed results and relapses can occur.
  • Oral Appliance Therapy
This therapy requires you to wear an oral appliance that fits over your upper and lower teeth (similar to a mouth guard).  The device advances the lower jaw, which moves the base of the tongue forward and helps you breathe.  When the airway is opened it reduces snoring and apnea; which in turn gives you a much more restful sleep.  The appliance is comfortable to wear and easy to maintain.

If you or a loved one have trouble sleeping, snore or experience excessive daytime drowsiness, for your safety, we encourage you to call the office or make an appointment online. as soon as possible.


Visit our Dental Office at 1436 West Pulaski Street, Fort Worth, TX 76104, call us at 817-335-1125 or use our convenient online form to set up a free consultation. Whether you’re a new patient or just looking for great dental advice, we’re glad you’re here!
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