The Gig Harbor Patient’s Guide to Sleep Apnea

Tired of being tired?

sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans each year. Is it affecting you?

75% of sleep breathing disorders go undiagnosed.

Many people are unaware they have sleep apnea – all they know is that they snore. Not all people who snore have sleep apnea, but all sleep apnea patients snore. Therefore, snoring is not a condition that should be overlooked. Sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes blocked by your tongue, surrounding muscles, and tissue while you sleep.

Some signs and symptoms of sleep apnea that you could experience include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Snoring
  • Wake up gasping for air
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Wake up feeling unrested

If you experience any of these symptoms, you could have sleep apnea. We work closely with you, your primary care physician, and/or sleep physician to help you sleep soundly and feel rested once again.

Snoring is Not Normal!

Not all snorers have Sleep Apnea, but all people with Sleep Apnea snore.

Our Sleep Apnea Success Stories

See what our Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and South Sound area patients say about their sleep apnea treatment experiences.

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea

To be officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will need to be seen by your primary care or sleep physician. They will then order an overnight sleep study. Once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Iregui will work closely with you and your health care team to determine what the best solution is for you.

We DO NOT use a virtual or offsite sleep physician. We work directly with your health care team, such as your primary care and sleep physician and any specialist who is treating a chronic illness. Dentists should not and legally cannot diagnose your snoring and sleep apnea.

Common treatments for sleep apnea include:

  • Upper Airway Surgeries
  • CPAP
  • Oral Appliance

Have you already unsuccessfully tried sleeping with a CPAP device? At SoundBridge, we offer oral appliances as a comfortable alternative.

Oral Appliance

Many patients compare our comfortable oral appliances to wearing a retainer or night guard.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment Myths

Be aware of common sleep apnea treatment misconceptions.

My dentist can diagnose me with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Only a primary care provider or a sleep specialist can organize a sleep study and legally diagnose you for sleep apnea.
At SoundBridge, Dr. Iregui works in conjunction with you and your team of health care providers. This could include one or more of the following: primary care provider, sleep specialist, and any specialist who is treating you for a chronic illness.

All I need is a ``Snore Guard`` to stop my snoring.

Not all snorers have Sleep Apnea, but all people with Sleep Apnea snore. In order to know if you are a snorer or suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, you must have a sleep test performed. If you have a “Snore Guard” fabricated, you cannot be sure if you are suffering from Sleep Apnea or if you are adequately treated.

I can purchase my sleep apnea oral appliance from a website or magazine.

Your oral appliance should be custom-fit for you. Oral appliances are not one-size-fits all. An ill-fitting oral appliance can not only be uncomfortable, but it could lead to other health concerns such as TMJ, bruxism, and shifting of tooth position. Dr. Iregui works with a variety of oral appliance manufacturers so she can be confident in finding one that suits you. You will also have regular appointments while you adjust to using your appliance. Dr. Iregui will address any concerns and make any adjustments as needed.

Every dentist offers the same sleep oral appliance.

There are many oral appliances to choose from. Through experience and research, Dr. Iregui has found at least seven oral appliances she feels comfortable recommending to her patients. Remember, oral appliances are not one-size-fits-all. Dr. Iregui will recommend one that she feels will be comfortable for you to wear, while also relieving your symptoms.

How does sleep apnea affect my overall health and well-being?

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43% of patients with mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea have hypertension. 69% of patients with severe OSA suffer as well.

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65% of stroke patients have a sleep breathing disorder.

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Drowsy Driving

People with mild to severe sleep apnea have a 15x increased chance of getting into a car accident.

Our Sleep Therapy Expert

We are excited to have an in-house dentist who focuses solely on treating patients affected by sleep apnea. Dr. Iregui understands how a lack of sleep can affect your daily life and is dedicated to finding a solution that works for you. She attends many hours of continuing education each year so she can offer the best and most innovative treatments for our patients. Dr. Iregui is also working towards becoming a diplomat with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Let us help you find peaceful sleep once again!

We are proud to offer sleep apnea solutions for our patients from Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and throughout the South Sound area.
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