It is amazing the number of Americans that suffer from sleep apnea that have not yet been properly diagnosed. The condition can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms and signs occur as an individual sleeps. However, sleeping partners and spouses can be beneficial in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

The most typical variation of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. Bloomington dentist, Dr. Milligan, has worked with hundreds of patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder is caused by blockage of the patient’s airways. This can happen due to a lazy tongue that falls back into the mouth and blocks the patient’s breathing, or can be caused by a misaligned jaw or excess tissue that can lessen the room in the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most commonly diagnosed form of sleep apnea, which is a chronic sleep disorder that needs to be treated. Patients who do not treat their obstructive sleep apnea are at risk for several medical conditions, such as the increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and other problems. The side effects of sleep apnea include tiredness, loss of concentration and memory, and the inability to get a full, restful night’s sleep.

Dr. Milligan offers home sleep testing devices called the WatchPAT and the MediByte, for patients who believe they may have sleep apnea. A consultation appointment with Dr. Milligan will allow him the opportunity to discuss with you your symptoms and problems, and suggest whether a home sleep device may help to indicate this particular sleep disorder.

Many patients don’t realize that their dentist may be able to assist in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Bloomington dental practice, Eastland Dental Center, is committed to helping patients find relief for the troubles associated with this sleeping disorder. For many patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Milligan is able to make a very comfortable intra-oral device. For patients with severe sleep apnea often the combination of CPAP and an oral appliance is most beneficial. This device helps to realign the jaw and allows the tongue to move forward in the patient’s mouth as they sleep to open the airways and facilitate proper breathing throughout the night.

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