Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Airway disorders affect millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many people are completely unaware that they have an airway disorder, such as sleep apnea. Dr. Nicol Cook, an airway-centric dentist in Poway, has received education and training from the world’s leading post-graduate learning institution in dentistry, LVI Global. Find out how one of Poway’s top-ranked dentists, Dr. Cook, can help with airway disorders.
What is an airway disorder?
Obstruction of the airway, such as with sleep apnea, is classified as an airway disorder. It may cause snoring while asleep, bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding), poor sleep quality, and irritability, among other symptoms. When the airway is restricted or blocked, it means that the body isn’t receiving enough oxygen. If you have a sleep breathing disorder, you may be completely unaware of this problem. However, you probably feel tired all of the time, may experience frequent headaches, mood swings, and a low sex drive. It is important not to ignore these warning signs that you might have an airway disorder. Symptoms of sleep apnea may look different in children and adults.
What causes the airway obstruction?
Generally, airway obstruction occurs when the soft tissues of the throat, or the tongue, block the airway during sleep. This obstruction is what causes the infamous loud snoring associated with sleep apnea. But, don’t be mistaken, you could have sleep apnea and not snore.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The gold standard for treating sleep apnea has been the CPAP machine. But, unfortunately, many CPAP users discontinue treatment because the machine is noisy, cumbersome when traveling, it is difficult to maintain and disrupts their partner’s sleep. Where does this leave us? It means that their sleep apnea is left untreated. That’s a problem because untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, cognitive decline, and certain types of cancer.
A different take on sleep apnea treatment
At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we treat mild cases of sleep-breathing disorders by fabricating a custom oral appliance that gently holds the lower jaw in a forward position to facilitate an open airway. Dr. Cook’s sleep apnea patients appreciate the benefits of wearing a custom-made oral appliance because it is comfortable to wear, and isn’t noisy. Plus, the oral appliance is small and doesn’t require a power source, like CPAP machines do. And, oral appliances won’t disrupt your partner’s sleep.
Dr. Cook will continue monitoring your airway disorder by encouraging you to follow through with twice-yearly checkups. If you experience sleep apnea symptoms and aren’t sure if you may have a sleep breathing disorder, schedule an airway screening with Poway dentist, Dr. Cook. This simple screening is easy and painless and even can be conducted on children.
Who gets sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can strike anyone of any age, even children and athletes. Used to, sleep apnea was associated with middle-aged, overweight men. Still, research is finding that even athletes and those in overall good health may have a sleep breathing disorder. Because sleep apnea is known as the new “silent killer,” it’s important to get a screening if you experience symptoms associated with sleep breathing disorders.
To find out more about sleep apnea or how Dr. Cook provides an alternative treatment for airway disorders, contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today or call (858) 673-0141. We welcome patients from Poway and Rancho Bernardo.