Dr. James P. Furgurson is a dentist in the Durham, NC area who also specializes in the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. He is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and has been trained to help patients manage their sleep disorder. Dentists who study in the area of dental sleep medicine focus on the use of oral appliance therapy. His dental practice, Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, is welcoming new patients from Durham who are seeking relief from their sleep apnea symptoms.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea, is a sleep disorder where a person will briefly stop breathing while they are asleep. While the person will begin breathing again, this disorder can lead to many health issues and complications.
The breathing ceases because of an obstruction in the upper airway. The obstruction is actually the muscles in the back of the throat completely relaxing making it impossible for air to pass through. The brain receives a signal that breathing has ceased and the person is woken up to reopen the airway. The person will stop breathing for ten seconds or longer during a single episode. This can happen up to 400 times a night depending on how severe their sleep apnea is.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Not many people are even aware they suffer from sleep apnea. This is why it is very important to know all the signs and symptoms. If you or your partner suffers from any of the following, please schedule a visit with your doctor:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Issues concentrating during the day
- Suddenly waking up gasping for air
- Loud snoring
- Frequent headaches
- Snorting or choking while sleeping
- Abnormal feelings such as depression or irritability
- Waking up with a dry mouth
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Furgurson can help you find relief. As a dental sleep medicine trained dentist, he can help you find an oral device that is designed to help you breath continuously through the night. An oral sleep appliance looks very similar to a regular mouth guard. It will help open the airway to allow for proper air flow and to reposition the tongue and jaw to keep the airway open. If the oral sleep appliance is worn while sleeping, you will be able to breathe normally throughout the entire night and feel rested when you wake up.
Many people are not happy with the idea of needing a continuous positive airway pressure machine, also knowns as a CPAP. If you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, they you may qualify for an oral sleep appliance. There are many advantages to choosing the oral dental sleep appliance over the CPAP because it is:
- More comfortable
- Easier to use
- Easier to travel with
- Cost effective
- Less intrusive
- Easier to care for and clean
Welcoming Patients from Durham for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Don’t let sleep apnea ruin your daily life. Contact Dr. Furgurson to see if you qualify for an oral sleep appliance. To schedule an appointment, you can call us at 919.736.6175 or schedule an appointment online.