Sleep Apnea Treatment

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Innovative Sleep Apnea Treatment in Alhambra

Patient getting a dental exam

We all know that long, restful sleep is essential for good health and happiness. However, for those with sleep apnea, good sleep can be hard to find. Many people are unaware they have this sleep disorder, and those that know may struggle to find a treatment that works well for them.

At the dental office of Steven R. Bergara, DDS, we’re passionate about helping people improve their life and health through quality, effective treatment. We can help you detect signs of sleep apnea and provide state-of-the-art treatment options for those who struggle with a CPAP.

Don’t waste another sleepless night wishing for relief! Contact our Alhambra office today to learn about your dental treatment options for sleep apnea.


The Herbst® Appliance: An Alternative to CPAP

Dr. Bergara is proud to provide the Herbst oral appliance to his sleep apnea patients. This innovative oral appliance helps to hold the jaw in place and reduce sleep apnea incidents comfortably and effectively, without limiting jaw movement. We make each appliance in our office, customized to provide optimal comfort and positive results.

A Herbst device consists of two acrylic arches that fit over the upper and lower jaws and are attached by metal hinges on each side. This keeps the lower jaw lined up with the upper jaw, but doesn’t stop you from opening and closing your mouth. Not only does it decrease the instances of airway blockage, but it can help you reduce snoring as well. With this device, you can go to bed more relaxed and enjoy deep, restful sleep at last.

Is the Herbst Appliance Better than Other Options?

A CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the most common treatment option for sleep apnea. While the machine works well for some, others may find it difficult to adjust to or have trouble sleeping while wearing the machine.

Dental appliances are a valuable alternative, but these can also be tricky. The standard devices work by holding the jaw or tongue in a fixed position, which can be uncomfortable after long periods. The Herbst appliance keeps the jaw forward but still allows the mouth to open and close. This freedom of movement helps you feel more relaxed and reduces the stress on your jaw, encouraging a healthy night’s rest.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

patient smiling at the dental chair

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) happens when a person’s airway closes during sleep, causing their body to wake them to restore breathing. While it’s common for a person to stop breathing occasionally during sleep, people with sleep apnea may have dozens of episodes during the night.

These interruptions are so brief that the sleeper rarely remembers them. However, they disrupt the sleep cycle and make it hard to achieve the deep sleep your body needs.

How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?

In many cases, signs of sleep apnea are first noticed by a person’s sleep partner, which makes it more difficult to detect if you sleep alone. Your risk is higher if you are male, are known to snore, or are overweight, but these don’t automatically mean you may have it.

Consider the following questions:

  1. Do you often wake up during the night?
  2. Do you snore?
  3. Have you felt tired even after a full night’s sleep?
  4. Do you wake up with headaches?
  5. Do you frequently have pain in your jaw joints?

If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, you may benefit from being assessed for sleep apnea.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea at the Dental Office

While sleep apnea can only be confirmed through a sleep study, a dentist can detect certain signs that may indicate the sleep disorder is likely. In fact, dentists frequently notice signs of a sleep disorder before a person’s primary doctor does.

Middle Aged Couple Asleep In Bed

Sleep apnea and oral health are often linked, with one area causing problems for the other. One frequent sign is worn teeth or jaw pain caused by nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism). When the airway closes, the brain forces the jaw forward to help open it, causing the upper and lower teeth to grind. Over time, this wears down tooth enamel and can make the jaw ache.

Teeth grinding can also increase instances of cavities, since it weakens the tooth and can cause tiny cracks. Redness in the back of the throat can also be an indicator, since frequent snoring can irritate the tissue and cause inflammation, which may exacerbate the problem.

Your oral health may also be contributing to sleep apnea. If the lower jaw is small or set back too far, the soft tissues at the back of the throat are more likely to relax and close the airway. The same is true if the tongue is larger than normal.

Dr. Bergara checks for all of these signs during a routine examination. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, be sure to discuss it during your dental exam. If signs are present, we can help you understand the next steps and get you on the path to treatment.

Get the Rest You’ve Dreamed Of Tonight

Everyone deserves a restful night’s sleep, and Dr. Bergara is committed to helping sleep apnea patients find theirs. From helping you achieve a diagnosis to finding a treatment that works well for you, we’ll do all we can to help you experience the kind of sleep you need to be healthy, fit, and enjoying life every day.

Make an appointment with our Alhambra office today! The rest you deserve could be just a visit away!


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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.


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