Sleep Apnea Treatment In Suwanee

A man sleeping peacefully.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea diagram

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by the relaxation of your throat muscles, and your tongue falls back and blocks the airway. Image used courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Sleep apnea (obstructive sleep apnea) is a type of sleep disordered breathing in which, when a patient is falling off to sleep, the tongue muscles relax and the tongue falls back, obstructing the airway. The airway muscles may also relax, allowing the pharynx (airway) to collapse inward as the chest muscles work to inspire and pull air in. Once the tongue and/or airway have collapsed, closing off the airway, the brain must “arouse” out of deeper sleep to activate the tongue and throat muscles, and open the airway to allow breathing.

Related to apnea is a condition called “upper airway resistance syndrome” in which resistance anywhere in the airway, from the nose on down, causes difficulty breathing in, causing the body to work harder, disturbing sleep. Tiredness, fatigue, anxiety and stress are often the result, especially in women.

Treatment for both apnea and UARS (upper airway resistance syndrome) may include CPAP, oral sleep appliances, or both.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (that you may notice) include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Impaired concentration and memory loss
  • Morning headaches
  • Snoring
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Irritability
  • Decreased sex drive

Severe Health Problems Linked to Sleep Apnea

When breathing pauses repeatedly during sleep, oxygen deprivation occurs and can cause, or worsen, other health issues such as those listed below

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease/Heart attack
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • GERD
  • Emotional and Learning Disorders
  • ADHD
  • Weight gain

Lack of restorative sleep can cause drowsiness during the day, and nearly one in five automobile accidents involving serious injury have been attributed to a driver being sleepy while behind the wheel. Good bedtime habits, weight loss and exercise are excellent measures that you can take to help prevent obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A man trying to sleep with mask strapped to his face.

A CPAP machine generates pressurized air to help keep your airway open during sleep.

CPAP therapy uses a machine that delivers pressurized air into a mask that covers your nose and mouth. You wear the mask while you sleep, and the force of the pressurized air balloons open your airway.

The use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine was the standard treatment for people suffering from sleep apnea. A CPAP is effective, but only about 50% of patients typically use it because it is uncomfortable to wear and is noisy due to its electric motor. A CPAP is also difficult to travel with, as it is a bulky unit that needs its own carrying case.  CPAP is still the go-to initial therapy for severe sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea and Alternative to CPAP

Oral appliance therapy – an effective and comfortable solution

Sleep Apnea Dentist in Suwanee

Customized oral appliances are designed to reposition your lower jaw and tongue to allow for unobstructed airflow.

Oral appliance therapy is recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as a comfortable and effective alternative to CPAP for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Customized oral appliances are designed to reposition your lower jaw and tongue to allow for unobstructed airflow.

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive and comfortable solution for people with obstructive sleep apnea. This type of therapy relies on a custom-made type of appliance that moves your lower jaw slightly forward and opens your bite. By positioning the lower jaw in this manner, your tongue is held forward and your throat muscles are activated to open the airway, so your airway stays open and won’t relax and collapse when you’re asleep. This type of sleep apnea therapy does not need a machine, so it is quiet. There is no mask, making this therapy comfortable, and it is completely portable for travel and camping.

Oral appliances work in several ways:

  • Repositions the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
  • Stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue
  • Increases the muscle tone of the tongue and pharyngeal (throat) airway

Dr. Finkel has received advanced training in oral appliance therapy, is Dental Sleep Medicine Board Certified and Director of an Accredited Dental Sleep Facility. He has special equipment he uses to determine the precise position your jaw must be in to open your airway. Dr. Finkel is familiar with many different types of oral appliances, and can determine which one will work best for you.

An Experienced and Knowledgeable Sleep Apnea DentistDr. Finkel smiling.

Dr. Finkel understands how sleep apnea can affect your life, and how treating it properly can turn your life around. He is specially trained to treat sleep apnea, OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and snoring problems, and is a recognized authority in sleep medicine. He has lectured extensively – both nationally and internationally – on dental sleep medicine and treatment using oral devices. He is a charter member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and, for almost 40 years, has helped patients that are suffering with sleep disorders to get their lives back.  Dr. Finkel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and is the Director of a Sleep Facility Accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Listen to Dr. Finkel on the radio talking about sleep apnea

Do You Snore, Have Daytime Sleepiness or Trouble Concentrating?
Come in for Our $129 Sleep Consultation Special

If you would like to find out more about our sleep apnea treatment, come in for a consultation with Dr. Finkel. He will check for symptoms of sleep apnea and make recommendations for treatment. Your visit includes:

Dr. Finkel explaining sleep apnea to a patient.

  • Sleep evaluation with oral exam
  • Epworth sleepiness scale
  • Discuss treatment – CPAP or oral appliance*
  • Get all questions answered
  • Consultation for insurance coverage

(Usual value $190)

*If you have not had a sleep study done, Dr. Finkel will recommend that you get one. Dr. Finkel will work with your physician as part of the medical team in your diagnosis, treatment and on-going care.

To make an appointment, call 770‑212‑9691 or click here to request an appointment online.

Testing for Sleep Apnea

If you think you may be at risk from the effects of sleep apnea, take these simple online tests. After you take these tests, you can set up an appointment with Dr. Finkel for a sleep apnea consultation. He will give you more information about your sleep patterns and overall health. He will also have you set up a sleep study with your physician.

Silence Your Snoring!

Snoring is the sound of an obstructed airway during sleep as you inhale (breathe in). When the soft tissues at the rear of the throat lean against the back of the throat they vibrate, causing snoring.

In most cases, snoring is not an immediate health problem but can progress, over time, to apnea. However, around 5 to 10% of people who snore loudly currently have sleep apnea. Take one of our online tests to see if you are at risk. Snoring can be easily treated with a custom-fitted oral appliance that is worn at night to open your airway.

To make an appointment, call 770‑212‑9691 or click here to request an appointment online.