Sleep apnea

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Sleep apnea in Indianapolis, IN

Sleep apnea is a potentially debilitating condition characterized by shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles supporting the soft palate relax, allowing the airway to narrow and close as you breathe in. It causes sufferers to snore loudly, choke, and gasp during sleep, leaving them (and those closest to them) feeling exhausted during the day. Conditions that have been linked to sleep apnea include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and impaired concentration.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Along with complaints from those closest to you, the following are sleep apnea symptoms to be aware of:

  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking frequently with the need to urinate
  • Feeling fatigued throughout the day
  • Weight gain
  • Attention problems
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Depression

Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

At South Circle Dental Care, Dr. Stephen Zahm addresses sleep apnea symptoms and snoring with a removable, dental appliance for sleep apnea (an oral appliance similar to a mouthpiece) that stabilizes the tongue and repositions the jaw. This allows for normal mouth opening and closing, as well as normal airflow, giving you immediate relief from sleep apnea symptoms.

Though the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is the gold standard for treating mild to severe sleep apnea, our treatment is far less invasive and is ideal for patients who can’t tolerate the CPAP or who suffer from mild sleep apnea. Dental sleep appliances are easy to use and require little to no change in your lifestyle.

Are Dental Sleep Appliances Safe?

Your dental appliance for sleep apnea will be custom fitted to your mouth. It will not cause excessive discomfort, but there might be an adjustment period while you get used to sleeping with it. Dr. Smith will fit the appliance to your mouth and can make adjustments as needed.

Sleep Apnea Dental Device Cost

Most insurance plans will cover the cost of these appliances if they are for treating sleep apnea. In addition, dental appliances for sleep apnea are far more cost-effective than CPAP machines or surgical procedures. Contact your specific insurance provider if you have questions about what is covered.


If I snore, does that mean I have sleep apnea?

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring that is not associated with sleep apnea does not result in extreme fatigue.

What are common signs of sleep apnea?

Loud snoring and long pauses between breaths while sleeping are the most recognizable signs of sleep apnea.

Do I have to sleep with a machine if I have sleep apnea?

Oral appliances are an effective alternative to the CPAP device, which can be very disruptive and uncomfortable for both the individual suffering from sleep apnea as well as their partner.