(919) 803-0168
 251 KEISLER DR., SUITE 200, CARY, NC 27518

 (919) 803-0168
 CARY, NC 27518

At Signature Smiles, we are committed to your overall healthcare. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Cook treats snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in our office, with Oral Appliance Therapy. If you are a sleep medicine candidate, Dr. Cook will create a custom oral appliance for you, similar to a mouth guard, to help treat your sleep apnea. Many patients are unable to use the standard CPAP machine for various reasons, including discomfort, and Oral Appliance Therapy has proven to be a great alternative.

If you have concerns about snoring and sleep apnea, it may be time to make an appointment. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, Dr. Cook can recommend a sleep physician to help get you started on your path to treatment. If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Cook can fit you with an oral appliance. Our team at Signature Smiles is ready to answer your questions about obstructive sleep apnea, dental sleep medicine and oral appliance therapy.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is not only disruptive, but more importantly it can be a sign of a serious disorder called OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA).  Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. Snoring, choking and gasping during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, irritability, fatigue and insomnia are all signs that you could be losing shut-eye to sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life threatening condition. It can increase the risk for other serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence.

Sleep apnea affects 25 million Americans of all ages.

The traditionally prescribed treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves sleeping with a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine. Although CPAP is effective, up to half of patients don’t adhere to the treatment. Dentists can provide an alternate sleep solution with oral appliance therapy.

Symptoms of Snoring and Sleep Apnea

While there are many potential causes of this debilitating condition, one of the most common is obesity and excess weight. Other causes include the collapse of the soft tissues of the throat, which may be due to a poor bite, as well as hypothyroidism, allergies, and a deviated septum. Regardless of the cause, many of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea can be confused for other ailments. You may be suffering from sleep apnea if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Chronic loud snoring that may wake yourself or your partner
  • Daytime exhaustion
  • Periodic episodes in which the patient stops breathing (typically observed by a partner)
  • Headaches and sinus problems
  • Sexual problems, decreased sex drive, and even impotence
  • Mental fatigue and bad judgment
  • Frequent sadness and mood swings
  • Depression and irritability
  • Dry mouth or bad morning breath
  • Restlessness
  • Night sweats and overheating
  • Kicking, twitching, punching during sleep
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Reduced energy
  • Hearing loss
  • Weight gain
Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that fits easily into your lifestyle. A dental oral appliance looks like a sports mouth guard and is worn only during sleep. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway, preventing sleep apnea and snoring.

Once you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by a sleep physician, a dentist experienced in dental sleep medicine can make a custom-fitted oral appliance using impressions and models of your teeth. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. Patients like it because it’s comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel and easy to clean.

Treating snoring or sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your symptoms, and your quality of life, can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. Custom-fit oral appliances from Signature Smiles can improve your sleep, restore your alertness and revitalize your health.